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New iRobot system makes battlefield and law enforcement robots easier to operate

Photo courtesy of iRobot

Bedford’s iRobot Corp. said Thursday that it has unveiled uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) System, a new way to control robots that the company designs to perform battlefield and law enforcement tasks such as checking for explosive devices.

Moving on from the standard laptop, uPoint runs off a tablet and uses an Android-based app that standardizes the control of any iRobot unmanned ground vehicle, or UGV. UPoint leverages touchscreen technology and simplifies robot operations like driving, manipulation, and inspection.

The uPoint MRC system is currently compatible with a range of ruggedized and consumer Android-based touchscreen tablets, iRobot said in a press release.


In a statement, iRobot senior vice president Frank Wilson said: “Success as a robot operator during high-stress, critical operations depends on precise and reliable control, so the interface needs to be intuitive. We’ve leveraged decades of experience working with robot operators and held dozens of user focus groups to develop the uPoint MRC system.  The uPoint MRC system drives mission effectiveness by decreasing training time and increasing overall ease of use. With uPoint, you point and the robot goes.”

The company also makes robots that perform such household tasks as vacuum-cleaning and floor-scrubbing.

Chris Reidy can be reached at