Soldiers Command Roomba Maker’s New Military Robot with Xbox Controller

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While iRobot is mostly known for the Roomba, it’s been manufacturing robots for the military for some time now, most notably the bomb-disposing PackBot. The newest member of the company’s arsenal? The aptly named “Warrior.”

While the U.S. military deploying a robot called the Warrior seems like the plot to a bad ’80s movie, the truth is a bit more pedestrian. The machine was built mostly to perform tasks like opening doors, lifting debris and heavy containers, and smashing windows with its 2-meter arm — capable of lifting up to 220 lb.

(MORE: 7 Real, Functional Robots You Can Buy Right Now)

According to MIT’s Technology Review, the robots are finally ready to be shipped to the military. The Warrior is by far iRobot’s biggest machine ever, weighing in at 450 lb. and reaching heights of up to 11-feet, 5-inches when fully extended.

The whole thing is controlled by something that should be familiar to Techland readers — an Xbox controller. Soldiers remotely move the robot around while looking at the video provided by the Warrior’s six cameras.

This is especially important when it comes to bomb disposal. The Warrior’s long arm is pretty flexible, meaning it can reach around corners to investigate and dispose of suspicious materials. The robot can even maneuver up stairs and bridge large gaps in the ground.

Sure, it doesn’t look like a Terminator-style robot a la Boston Dynamics’ PETMAN, but sometimes being simple and functional are more important than being on the cutting edge of technology.

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