IRobot Will Build Underwater Robots for Military

IRobot, (NASDAQ: IRBT) the Bedford, MA-based maker of robots that clean floors, scrub gutters, and defuse roadside bombs in Iraq, said today it acquired a license from the University of Washington to develop technology for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that can be used by oceanographers and military planners. The UW technology, called Seaglider, uses a buoyancy system meant to enable missions that run thousands of kilometers and last for months at a fraction of the cost of traditional research vessels, iRobot said. The move puts iRobot into direct competition with other New England AUV makers including Pocasset, MA-based Hydroid and Cambridge, MA-based Bluefin Robotics.

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