IRobot to Send Army another $17.5 Million Worth of PackBots Under Its Hard-Won XBot Contract

IRobot, (NASDAQ: IRBT) of Bedford, MA, announced today that the Army has ordered 220 of its PackBot 510 robots, worth a total of $17.5 million. The bots allow soldiers to detect and investigate explosive devices and other hazards while keeping a safe distance.

The new order is the fourth that the Army has made under the $286 million xBot contract, which iRobot won back in December in the midst of a high-profile legal battle with Illinois-based rival Robotic FX, to which the Army had initially awarded the contract. (IRobot would go on to win that fight just days later and to absorb some of Robotic FX’s assets as the settlement put that firm out of business.) Orders under the contract now total $44.5 million.

Erik Mellgren is a Swedish journalist who worked for Xconomy Boston in 2008 as part of the Stanford Innovation Journalism Fellowship program. His real job is with Ny Teknik, a leading technology and innovation magazine in Sweden, but he loved seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. Follow @

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