An army of 30 ‘PackBots’ from Massachusetts-based security firm iRobot will be making an appearance at the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup. They have been reportedly enlisted to enhance security and inspect suspicious objects and packages.
Similar in appearance to British Army ‘Wheelbarrow’ bomb disposal robots, the PackBots weight in at 40lbs and can easily be carried around in back-packs ready to be deployed.
Capable of reaching a top speed of nine miles an hour the robots can rotate 360 degrees with the use of inbuilt flippers which allow for them to transverse uneven terrain and even negotiate obstacles such a stairs.
They are fitted with ultramodern GPS, electronic compasses, temperature sensors and video image displays and are remotely controlled using Pentium-based computers.
Soccer hooligans that fancy their chances against the PackBots may be put-off to hear they’re robustly built. Their bodies can survive a drop from two metres onto solid concrete and can withstand being submerged in up to two metres of water.
PackBots have already seen some considerable action. They’ve previously been used to clear minefields in Afghanistan, to perform vehicle searches in Iraq and assisted at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster following the tsunami in 2011.
images: © iRobot