Vacuum cleaning robot gets military makeover

The company behind the Roomba vacuum cleaner has announced it is to work with Boeing in creating a new military reconnaissance robot for the US army.

Hoping to clean up the bad guys [see what we've done there - Ed] the two companies have said they will build a next-generation Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) for military, civil and commercial users.

Weighing less than 15kg, the robot, named SUGV Early, will enable users to remotely conduct reconnaissance and secure real-time intelligence while remaining out of harm’s way.

The SUGV Early will be a smaller, lighter version of the combat-proven iRobot PackBot, which is used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to safely disarm Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and search buildings, caves and tunnels for hostile forces.