Talon Military Robot



Pictured: two talon robots at work.


Some of the greatest achievements in science and technology have come about because of military needs. One such achievement is the Talon Robot by Foster-Miller which has been recognized as one of the most amazing inventions of 2004 by “Time” magazine.

As the U.S. Army transforms into a lighter, more lethal force, the need for small mobile weapons systems (SMWS) becomes more crucial. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have already shown great advantage as an extension of the soldier for RSTA (reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition) missions, and SMWS are becoming available to provide a critical multiplier of the firepower in a transformed force.

There are more than 100 Talon Robots at work in Iraq and Afghanistan performing EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) duties which is a very dangerous job that is best done by the remote controlled robot with the soldier operating the robot at a safe distance away from the potential explosion.

TALON robots have been in continuous, active military service since 2000 when they were successfully used in Bosnia to move and dispose of live grenades. They were used extensively at Ground Zero in search and recovery efforts after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and were the first robots taken into Afghanistan by Special Forces during action against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in 2002. They went into Iraq with US forces in March 2003. TALON™ robots have now completed more than 20,000 EOD missions.

Foster-Miller has been awarded almost $65 million since October 2002 to continue developing and manufacturing TALON robots, beginning with a $27.6 million contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, MD. In March 2004, Foster-Miller received $6 million from TSWG (the Technical Support Working Group) and the Joint Program Office for Robotics to send more robots to Iraq, followed by another $2.4 million from the Joint Program Office in July. Foster-Miller has received more than $8 million to develop Sea Talon, an autonomous underwater version of the robot that can be used to neutralize mines in shallow water, from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, FL. The current order for robots is from the Naval Sea Systems Command, Indian Head, MD, which buys EOD equipment for all branches of the service.

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