Last week, the government announced a $9.6 million deal with iRobot Corp of Bedford, Massachusetts to acquire 20 of its 510 PackBot CBRN Recce Systems.

The PackBot CBRN recce system is a modular expansion of the company’s multi-mission robot platform and includes a suite that integrates five primary sensors able to detect, alert and report on chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, volatile gases, explosives and radiation. The robot also features enhanced mobility through the addition of rear flippers.

Delivery of the contract, which includes training and future product lifecycle support, is expected in April 2015.

“CBRN events occur globally, and each present their own unique challenges,” said Frank Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of iRobot’s Defense & Security business unit. “iRobot offers all of our customers rugged, reliable and expandable systems that are capable of addressing a wide range of specific mission needs.”

The company said that while the PackBot recce systems meets all off DND’s stated requirements, its base multi-mission platform provides even more capability, including the ability to identify and interrogate CBRN threats and is ideal for explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance, route clearance and data collection in industrial settings.

iRobot has delivered more than 5,000 robots to military and civil defence forces worldwide.