The MARCbot is a robot that U.S. Army soldiers are currently using to help identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. It was developed by Exponent for the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force to meet a critical operational need identified during combat operations as observed by Exponent employees in theater. Based upon the first Exponent robots sent to Afghanistan in 2002, the first improved MARCbot IIs for IED sweeps were initially sent to Iraq in May 2004. Spiral improvements were made in direct response to soldier feedback obtained from IED sweep missions, resulting in the current MARCbot IV configuration.
MARCbot Video (with audio)
Soldiers performing IED sweeps use this remote observation platform to inspect suspicious objects from a distance instead of walking or driving near the objects. The MARCbot is designed to effectively meet the needs of these soldiers during the sweeps.
- Remote observation distance greater than 100 meters
- Low-light camera and LED arrays provide nighttime mission capability
- Pan/tilt camera can be raised to a height of 3 feet and tipped forward as far as 1.2 feet for viewing the tops of boxes, and looking into cans and over burlap sacks
- Platform is able to navigate most curbs
- Powered by military standard x90 batteries (BB-2590, BB-390) instead of expensive, proprietary batteries
- Low-cost platform intended as a disposable-type asset to address otherwise problematic technical support/logistics of complex, expensive robots.
If the IED blows up, the only thing that’s hurt is the robot, and we can easily replace a robot.
—Major, Baghdad, Iraq
I want one of these for all of my combat vehicles.
—Company Commander, Baghdad, Iraq
It allows us to get eyes on. You can see a lot with binoculars and everything else, but with this, you’re right on it.
—SPC, Engineer Company, Baghdad, Iraq
- Width: 19 inches / 48.3 cm
- Height (Camera Arm Retracted): 13.5 inches / 34.2 cm
- Camera height (extended): 24 inches / 61 cm
- Camera forward projection (extended): 14 inches / 35.6 cm
- Weight, Robot: 25 lbs / 11.3 kg
- Weight, Operator Control Unit: 8.5 lbs / 3.9 kg
- Weight, Shipping: 80 lbs / 36.3 kg
- Max Camera Arm Height: 24 inches / 61 cm
- Ground Clearance: 4 inches / 10 cm
- Power Source: BB2590 or BB-390
- Max Range: Call for spec.
- Endurance: Call for spec.
- Pan/Tilt Camera: Fixed-focus, high-resolution, Low-Lux, color camera
- MARCbot IV Robot
- Operator Control Unit (OCU)
- Shipping Case
- Two Control Antennas
- 2 Video Antennas
- 3 BB-2590 Batteries
- Two Antenna Magnetic Mounts