The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded Harris a contract worth up to £55 million (U$70 million) to provide T7 robotic systems with a highly intuitive control interface, and haptic feedback, to support UK explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions around the world. The contract was made during DSEI and was announced by UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.
The systems will be part of the MoD’s Project STARTER and help defeat a wide variety of explosive threats, including improvised explosive devices (IED) and unexploded ordnances (UXO). The T7 supports the demanding requirements of commercial and military missions, including hazardous materials (HAZMAT) cleanup, EOD, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and special weapons and tactics missions.
The robot provides operators with human-like dexterity and haptic force feedback from the robot arm to the remote-control handgrip. The T7’s interface provides ease of use for operators and command and control. Its precision control and dexterity shorten task completion time and improve mission effectiveness, and its rugged track system provides the mobility and maneuverability required for rough terrain. A variety of attachments enable use of standard-issue sensors, disruptors and tools that support a wide range of missions, including HAZMAT and the ability to disable and defeat IEDs planted inside vehicles.
“This award will bring life-saving technology to UK forces in the field and reaffirms the importance of highly reliable, precise and easy-to-use robotic systems for EOD operators,” said Ed Zoiss, President, Harris Electronic Systems. “During Project STARTER’s assessment trials in 2016, T7 successfully demonstrated to the UK MoD the maneuverability, reliability, and capability required for the toughest EOD missions. This award also represents the first of several more international contract awards we’re anticipating for the T7.”