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Popular Science Magazine Honors Black-i Robotics’ ‘Landshark UGV
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 30, 2008
More Security and Defense stories
Popular Science Magazine names Black-i Robotics ‘Landshark’ unmanned ground vehicle as one of the Top 100 Tech Innovations of the Year.  Landshark, which is less expensive that other UGVs in its class, can accommodate many different types of payloads.

Black-I Robotics’ Landshark robotic unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) used for Defense and Homeland Security applications was awarded a coveted “Best of What’s New Award” from Popular Science Magazine.  The magazine scrutinizes literally thousands of products to determine the top 100 tech innovations of the year.

“For 20 years, Popular Science’s Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that make a positive impact on life today and change our view of the future,” says Mark Jannot, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science.  “PopSci’s editors evaluate thousands of products each year to develop this thoughtful list.  There’s no higher accolade Popular Science can give.” Black-i Robotics’s Landshark is being featured in the December issue of Popular Science, the most widely read issue of the year. 

“We are honored to earn this distinction,” says Brian Hart, Black-i Robotics’s president.  “To be chosen as one of the very best tech products out of thousands is a testament to our researchers and engineers, who have put so much effort into developing products that help keep our troops safe in the field and all of us safe at home.”

The Landshark is a robotic platform used to extend human capabilities, often in dangerous environments such as on the battlefield, at a chemical spill or for sentry duty.  For example, the unit can be mounted with sensors to carry out missions such as reconnaissance and hazard evaluation; to deliver tools for the disruption of IEDs, or mechanical arms to extract casualties from the battlefield.  The Landshark is more robust and powerful than conventional unmanned ground vehicles, and dramatically less expensive, which is why it is considered a revolution in the field of robotics. 

Brian Hart and two colleagues founded Black-I Robotics in 2006, three years after Hart’s son, 20 year old PFC John Hart, was killed in action in an unarmored Humvee near Taza, Iraq.  Brian Hart left a Fortune 50 company in 2004 to push Congress for safer military vehicles, adequate body armor for troops and advanced tourniquets.

About Black-i Robotics
Black-i Robotics’s mission is the development of flexible and technologically scalable core robot chassis adaptable to diverse markets.  In July, the company was awarded an $800,000 contract from the U.S.  government’s Technical Support Working Group to develop, test and evaluate robots to address the needs of First Responders, SWAT, Hazmat, Firefighting, Search and Rescue and others.  The company has sold a number of units and is working with partners to integrate their products with products from Black-I Robotics.  In August, the firm introduced the world’s first commercially available hybrid unmanned ground vehicle.  This model can operate on electricity or conventional fuel, providing it with a substantially longer run time than standard small or mid-sized vehicles.

Robert Hughes
Vice President

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