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iRobot taps Frank Wilson to head its defense and security business unit

Bedford’s iRobot Corp. said Tuesday that Frank Wilson has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of its defense and security business unit.

The company develops robots for military and civil defense agencies, home users, and most recently, for health-care providers. The PackBot military robot allow soldiers to remove explosives at a safe distance. The Roomba and Scooba for perform household tasks such as vacuum-cleaning and floor scrubbing. In July, the company entered into the health care space with RP-Vita, a “telemedicine” robot for use in hospitals and ICUs.

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Earlier this year, iRobot warned of possible losses as cuts in defense spending reduce demand for its military robots.

In a press release Tuesday, iRobot said that Wilson will focus on strategic business development and product development to ensure iRobot is meeting today’s military, civil defense and security needs. Tim Trainer, the previous acting interim general manager, will continue on as vice president of programs.

Wilson most recently served as sector vice president of business development and mission applications for electronic systems at BAE Systems.

BAE Systems is a global defense and security company with about 100,000 employees worldwide. It has operations in Lexington and Nashau, N.H.

“As was said on the second-quarter earnings call, U.S. government funding and program delays continue to negatively impact our expectations for the Defense & Security business unit,”iRobot chief operating officer Jeff Beck said in a statement. “Frank has a wealth of experience leading a business, driving business development, and transforming organizations in both favorable and declining defense budget environments. We look forward to his contributions and leadership as iRobot develops new technologies to address the growing role robots have in special operations and infantry missions.”

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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