The US Army has awarded a $35.3m contract to autonomous robots manufacturer iRobot Corporation for the provision of additional military combat robots.

ThePackBot robot weighs 53lb and will be provide the army with the ability to approach dangerous areas from a safe distance as well as the ability to clear routes of dangerous obstacles such as improvised explosive devices.

The robots are controlled via a ruggedised laptop with a game style controller. The robot can move at speeds of up to 5.8mph and can operate for up to four hours.

iRobot Government and Industrial Robots Joe Dyer said that one of the robot’s strengths is its adaptability.

“It is well-suited for use by combat engineers, route clearance companies and infantry brigades. This is important as our troops continue to fight wars on multiple fronts, each possessing its own unique mission types and challenges,” Dyer said.

The contract is the largest ever single order placed with iRobot by the US Army.