The British Army has deployed a new anti-bomb robot in Afghanistan that will help bomb disposal experts locate and deactivate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the front line.

The UK Ministry of Defence ordered about 100 high-tech Dragon Runner robots from QinetiQ UK under a £12m ($19.6m) contract as part of the army’s urgent operational requirement.

The Dragon Runner is a lightweight military robot carried in a soldier’s backpack and is capable of detecting a variety of devices without making the operator directly involved in combat.

When configured with a manipulator arm the multi-terrain robot is capable of digging around suspicious objects and picking them up.

It can also place small charges to disrupt suspect devices and be equipped with wire-cutters.

UK Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said the Dragon Runner is “an excellent addition to the golf bag of tools that are available to our bomb disposal experts in the Armed Forces”.

Dragon Runner features four cameras which provide a video feed that is relayed back to its master controller by a hand-held controller.

The display offers greater situational awareness by showing a single view at a time or all four views in quad-screen mode.