Novint Awarded Military R&D Subcontract to Give Robots the Sense of Touch
"Remote Touch Kit" Will Allow Soldiers to Feel the Actions of Unmanned Ground Robots
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Oct 13, 2009

Developer of gaming consoles receives a subcontract from iRobot for “Remote Touch Kit” for PackBot unmanned ground vehicles that will allow soldiers to feel the actions of unmanned ground robots.



Novint Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: NVNT) today announced it has been awarded a subcontract with iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT) for a military robotics project funded by the Secretary of Defense Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise through the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC).

Under this subcontract, Novint will co-develop a Remote Touch Kit (RTK) for one of iRobot’s military-grade unmanned ground vehicles, called the PackBot. With the RTK soldiers will, for the first time, experience force and tactile sensing when operating the PackBot from a distance.

The RTK will allow soldiers to feel how hard the PackBot’s “gripper” squeezes an object, safely pick up and handle fragile objects, and feel when the robot’s arm touches a wire or reaches a movement limit. When driving the robot, soldiers will also feel bumps and jerks of the robot, improving performance over rugged terrain.

The result will be greatly reduced task times and operator burden, increased dexterity and situational awareness, and reduced training.

“As demand for unmanned military robots continues to grow, Novint’s touch technology will play a crucial role in enhancing operator control during mission-tasks such as bomb disposal or surveillance,” said Tom Anderson, CEO of Novint Technologies. “iRobot is the leader in developing next-generation robotics capabilities and has delivered more than 2,500 PackBot robots to the military. Novint is pleased to be working alongside iRobot to deliver new capabilities that will help keep soldiers out of harm’s way.”

About Novint
Novint (OTCBB: NVNT) develops, markets, and licenses technology that adds high-fidelity interactive 3D touch to computing. For more information visit: http://www.novint.com.

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