IRobots could help provide security when the pope visits Brazil

The iRobot 510 PackBot. This photo was included with the company’s press release.
The iRobot 510 PackBot. This photo was included with the company’s press release.

Bedford’s iRobot Corp. said Wednesday that it has been awarded contracts totaling $7.2 million from the Brazilian government for robots that can help provide security as Brazil gears up for a World Cup soccer tournament, a scheduled papal visit his summer, and the 2016 Olympics.

The company makes several kinds of robots. Some, such as the Roomba vacuum-cleaning robot, are designed for home use by consumers. Another line is designed to let doctors interact with patients remotely. The company’s military and law-enforcement robots, meanwhile, can perform such tasks as battlefield reconnaissance and detecting explosive devices.

Following big cuts in Pentagon spending, iRobot has been generally putting more emphasis on its nonmilitary robots.

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Frank Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of iRobot’s Defense & Security business unit, commented in a statement on the contracts with Brazil.

“IRobot continues its international expansion, and Brazil represents an important market for the company’s unmanned ground vehicles,” Wilson said. “IRobot is excited to be providing the company’s state-of-the-art robotic technologies to Brazil as the country prepares for several high profile international events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

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