Image Copyright: Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez/Marine Corps
By James K. Sanborn, Staff writer
The Marine Corps is now fielding its next-generation counter-IED robot for route clearance.
Called the RC2, it is based on the Army’s battle-proven 510 Fast Tac Packbot used in Iraq and Afghanistan for several years. With combat operations winding down, the Army identified a surplus of the robots and the Marine Corps seized the opportunity to use the Army’s robot chassis to cheaply develop a new platform.
Marine developers at the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office at the Army’s Detroit Arsenal began tacking on new components to the old chassis to improve maneuverability, dexterity and strength, sensor capabilities and communications systems. The new bots, already in the hands of several units, will be fully fielded by the end of the year.