The US Army has selected QinetiQ North America (QNA) for the supply of its new small ground robots.
QNA won the competition for the army’s common robotic system-individual (CRS(I)) programme against Endeavor Robotics.
Valued at $164m, the seven-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract includes a low-rate initial production (LRIP) phase followed by annual production releases.
The company has received an initial order valued at $4m under the LRIP phase, which is worth $20m over one to two years. QNA is required to produce up to 3,000 robots.
According to US Army specifications, CRS(I) robot will be fitted with advanced sensors and mission modules to support dismounted forces. Weighing less than 25lb, the lightweight robot system can be carried in a backpack.
The robot features an interoperability profile with an open architecture that enables it to support different payloads and missions to detect, identify and counter dangers.
QNA president Jeff Yorsz said: “Providing robust, reliable, and exceptionally capable ground robots to support our armed services has been a driving passion at QNA for decades now.
“Our CRS(I) robot combines performance, intuitive control, and easy transport with a very competitive price point. This will redefine the market for next-generation back-packable robots.”
The first CRS(I) systems are expected to be fielded in the fiscal year 2020.
In December, Endeavor Robotics unveiled images of its multi-mission, ‘back-packable’ unmanned ground vehicle Scorpion for the CRS(I) programme.
QNA is under contract with the US Army for Route Clearance Interrogation System programme (RCIS) and Common Robotic System-Heavy programme (CRS-H) phase II.
In February, QNA was awarded a $90m contract by the US Army to maintain its tactical adaptable light ordnance neutralisation (TALON) family of robotic systems.