The US Army has awarded an engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) contract to Endeavor Robotics for development of an advanced ‘back-packable’ robot.

The company is one of the two chosen to share the $429m awarded contracts under the US Army’s Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS-I) production programme.

Final award of the development contract will take place after the EMD down-select the complete delivery of more than 3,000 ‘back-packable’ robots.

The contract is due to be awarded during the second quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

“The CRS-I programme helps our military take another step in bringing interoperable open architectures rapidly to the field.”

The CRS-I ‘back-packable’ robot weighs less than 25lb. It will feature a common platform to allow field operators to quickly reconfigure it to conduct a range of missions by adding or eliminating different modules and payloads.

Endeavor Robotics president Tom Frost said: “The CRS-I programme helps our military take another step in bringing interoperable open architectures rapidly to the field.

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“We need to make sure our latest robots not only perform the mission, but also are easy for users to control and adapt quickly to changing needs.

“We are honoured to be chosen for this EMD contract and look forward to working with the army to bring world class robots to our men and women in uniform.”

The company received a $100m award for the US Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) programme in September.

The MTRS Inc II award has options worth up to $58m. It will see the development of a medium-weight robot, designed to offer enhanced stand-off capability for soldiers, which can be used to detect and confirm a range of potentially lethal threats.