PackBot is a series of military robots by iRobot. More than 2000 PackBots are currently on station in Iraq and Afghanistan, with hundreds more on the way.
The Packbot is another small robot that operates on treads. It's even smaller and lighter than the TALON, weighing in at about 40 lbs (18 kg) in the basic Scout configuration. Packbot is man-portable and is designed to fit into the U.S. Army's new standard pack, the Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE).
Controlled by a Pentium processor that has been designed specially to withstand rough treatment, Packbot's chassis has a GPS system, an electronic compass and temperature sensors built in. Packbot manufacturer iRobot says Packbot can move more than 8 mph (13 kph), can be deployed in minutes and can withstand a 6-foot (1.8-meter) drop onto concrete -- the equivalent of 400 g's of force.
The Foster-Miller TALON robot is a small, tracked military robot designed for missions ranging from reconnaissance to combat. Over 3000 TALON robots have been deployed to combat theaters.
Foster-Miller claims the TALON is one of the fastest robots in production, one that can travel through sand, water, and snow (up to 100 feet deep) as well as climb stairs. The TALON transmits in color, black and white, infrared, and/or night vision to its operator, who may be up to 1,000 m away. It can run off lithium-ion batteries for a maximum of 7 days on standby independently before needing recharging. It has an 8.5 hour battery life at normal operating speeds, 2 standard lead batteries providing 2 hours each and 1 optional Lithium Ion providing an additional 4.5 hours. It can also withstand repeated decontamination allowing it to work for long periods of time in contaminated areas. It was used in Ground Zero after the September 11th attacks working for 45 days with many decontaminations without electronic failure. This led to the further development of the HAZMAT TALON.
It weighs less than 100 lb (45 kg) or 60 lb (27 kg) for the Reconnaissance version. Its cargo bay accommodates a variety of sensor payloads. The robot is controlled through a two-way radio or a Fiber-optic link from a portable or wearable Operator Control Unit (OCU) that provides continuous data and video feedback for precise vehicle positioning.
Regular (IED/EOD) TALON: Carries sensors and a robotic manipulator, which is used by the U.S. Military for explosive ordnance disposal and disarming improvised explosive devices.
HAZMAT TALON: Uses chemical, gas, temperature, and radiation sensors that are displayed in real time to the user on a hand-held display unit. It is now being tested by the US Armament Research Development and Engineering Center ARDEC.
The robot costs approximately $60,000 in its standard form. Foster-Miller was subsequently bought out by QinetiQ, a United Kingdom military developer.