Centaur Robots Is a True Hazard Hound, Army of Them to Be Enlisted

FLIR Centaur 6 photos
Photo: FLIR
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One of the most dangerous jobs in the military is bomb disposal. Unlike fighting troops, who always have the option of ducking for cover when things go south, there’s only so much bomb disposal guys can do to protect themselves.
For some time now, these specialized teams have begun using robots as advanced tools that allow them to perform their jobs. One of these robots is called Centaur and is made by a company that goes by the name FLIR Systems.

Officially designated as an unmanned ground system, the Centaur is a tracked robot that can climb stairs and tips the scale at just 160 pounds (73 kg). It comes with a suite of sensors and cameras, including infrared, and a manipulator arm that can extend to distances of up to six feet (1.8 meters).

The remotely-operated robot has been designed to be used by the military in operations pertaining to “disarming landmines, unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and similar dangerous tasks.” Several of them are already used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams, and more will come soon.

Earlier this week, FLIR announced the U.S. Armed Services placed $70 million in new orders for 600 new Centaur robots, bringing the total spent by the military for these machines to $190 million.

Neither party said what the new robots would be used for, but the scope of their usefulness goes far beyond the operations stated above.

Because it is modular, the Centaur can be equipped with a wide range of payloads that could be used to detect chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats. The thing’s capabilities allow it to detect these threats and dispose of them if need be.

FLIR says the massive batch of new Centaurs will be delivered to the military starting the third quarter of the year.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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