iRobot Warrior, PackBot will be used at nuclear plants in US as part of routine operations

CNET – iRobot’s military robots are now working at a U.S. nuclear plant as part of routine operations.

The company’s Warrior and PackBot military robots are carrying out inspections and other duties at a nuclear power plant in South Carolina.

Last fall, operator Progress Energy purchased one Warrior 710 and two PackBot 510 units for its Robinson Nuclear Plant near Hartsville. It marks the first time iRobot’s machines are being used at a domestic nuclear plant.

Priced around $350,000 to $400,000, the Warrior is a rugged machine that can haul payloads of more than 150 pounds and lift up to 220 pounds. The PackBot, at $100,000 to 150,000, is used for tactical operations such as inspecting objects.

Variants of the remote-controlled droids have been used in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis in Japan. iRobot sent two Warriors and two PackBots to Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to help with surveys and debris removal at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by core meltdowns.

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