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TMC delivers ten ‘Throwabot’ robots to the Dutch Ministry of Defense

Defense investigates how the throwable robot can improve the safety of personnel in potentially dangerous areas

Defense investigates how the throwable robot can improve the safety of personnel in potentially dangerous areas

Written by Brainport Eindhoven

09 December 2020

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Today, TMC delivered ten experimental exploration robots called Throwabots to the Ministry of Defense. The Throwabot is a remotely controlled, robust, lightweight robot. It is equipped with a microphone and a camera so the operator can hear and see what the small robot is observing. The Ministry of Defense wants to investigate whether the unarmed exploration robot can increase the situational awareness of personnel when operating in urbanised areas. Improved situational awareness will contribute to increasing the safety of their military personnel.

Danny Hameeteman is a Mechatronics Design Engineer at TMC and initiator of Throwabot. Hameeteman: 'There are robots with similar functionalities, but due to the high price they are not used for what they are intended. We have built a high quality robot, which partially consists of 3D-printed materials, making it accessible for customers in terms of both purchase and use.'

Together with his team, he presented the first prototypes to Innovation Center FRONT of Defense over a year ago. Since then, we have been working towards a prototype that meets the most important requirements. The Ministry of Defense is constantly looking for innovations to improve security. The Ministry of Defense already has specialist robots at its disposal, such as the explosives removal service. Because of their many features, these robots are often difficult to use and, in addition, very expensive. With the Throwabot, we want to investigate whether units operating in and around buildings benefit from a small, simple exploration robot that can be operated intuitively and of which several are available in the unit,' says Richard van Dijk, innovation consultant at Innovation Centre FRONT.