GEAR & TECH

This little bot can take a lickin' and keep on tickin' for troops on assault

Big robots can be useful at times. Just look at what the Kobra can do.


That said, while size matters, there are times when you can get too much of a good thing.

The Kobra, for instance, weighs 500 pounds. Now, that's not a problem when you can roll it out of a M113 armored personnel carrier, a M1132 Stryker Engineer Squad Vehicle, or an MRAP. But if you're a grunt and have to carry everything on a foot patrol… well, that 500-pound weight would be a pain.

An Endeavor Robotics FirstLook rights itself after being tossed into a hostile situation. (Youtube screenshot)

Thankfully, there is an option for ground troops. Endeavor Robotics has developed the FirstLook, a robot that comes in at just under 6 pounds. That's about one percent, give or take, of the weight of the Kobra.

This of course, not only is it easy to carry, but in fact, it can be tossed (by comparison, the shot put used at the Olympics is 16 pounds for men, and just under nine pounds for women). This robot can survive a 16-foot fall onto a concrete surface, and get itself upright.

An optional manipulator arm for the FirstLook can move three and a half pounds. (Youtube screenshot)

Oh, and FirstLook can be equipped with a manipulator (or an arm) capable of lifting three and a half pounds. That arm weighs just over 59 ounces. The FirstLook can run for six hours, has a top speed of just under 4 miles per hour, is able to serve as a relay for other robots, and can climb obstacles up to seven inches high.

With four cameras, and the ability to use infrared sensors, this small robot can help the grunts check out a cave or building.

In essence, this tiny bot turns out to be a big deal for the troops. You can check out a video about this mini-bot below.

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