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iRobot's macho side

From vacuums to the battlefield

Shiny Shiny

iRobot, of Roomba fame, is generally known for its innocent household products. But make no mistake, it has a more serious side too, in the form of military applications.

The company's Government and Industrial Robots Division has an entire line of "PackBots" designed for the battlefield: "Adaptable, tough and reliable, these robots go where people can't, shouldn't or don't want to. From the battlefield to deep inside Afghan caves, our robots are hard at work."

Lest you be too intimidated, be aware that these bots are directed by a controller that looks remarkably like a game console--which, as Shiny Shiny points out, could make them handy for some heavy-duty pruning in the yard.