Clinton robot maker wins Air Force contract

Robot-maker Remotec Inc. has landed a new contract to help keep U.S. military personnel safe from the “evolving threats” of improvised explosive devices.

remotec.004.jpgUnder terms of the multi-year, multi-million dollar contract, Remotec will upgrade as many as 173 of the Andros HD-1 robots used by the U.S. Air Force.

The Clinton, Tenn.-based company received $11.2 million for the first year of the contract.

The upgraded HD-1 has a stronger, more dexterous arm that can lift 125 pounds, enhanced stair climbing ability, a new operator control unit and other improvements, the company said in a press release.

Remotec is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp.

“The Air Force’s continued confidence in Remotec’s Andros platforms is testament to the experience and praise of those in the field who use them, the performance and reliability of the equipment, and the people of Remotec who stand behind them,” Remotec President Mike Mike Knopp said in a prepared statement.

Knopp’s liberal use of superlatives is understandable. It’s been a good year for Remotec and its HD-1 robot. If you’ve seen the movie, “The Hurt Locker,” you know what the Remotec robot looks like and what it can do. The company supplied a version of the HD-1 robot for the Academy Award-winning movie.

Northrop Grumman Remotec press release

Photo: Clay Owen/ Knoxville News Sentinel.

In this December 2008 photo Remotec employees assemble robotic vehicles in the production area of the company’s facility in Clinton, Tenn.