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Northrop Grumman Shows Off New Robot
By Yasmin Tadjdeh

Northrop Grumman unveiled its newest unmanned ground vehicle, the Titus, which the company hopes will find a niche in the homeland security and law enforcement market.

Titus is "lighter, faster, smarter. It’s a multi-mission vehicle built with the same quality and reliability that folks have come to expect from Northrop Grumman and Remotec,” said Michael Knopp, director of Remotec, Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, on Oct. 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Titus, the latest vehicle in their Andros line of UGVs, is the company's smallest system weighing in at 135 pounds and measuring 27 inches long.

“Everything is modular, so a user can configure it to however he wants,” said Knopp. Sensors, payloads and accessories can be added or removed depending on the situation. The vehicle can be stripped of many parts and at its most basic form weighs only 86 pounds, allowing for fast transport. The vehicle can travel at full speed, or 6 mph, for three hours and its narrow chassis gives the vehicle optimal mobility, Knopp said.

Titus features a slew of sensors and cameras and comes equipped with a Taser, said Mark Kauchak, director of sales and support at the company. Police special weapons and tactics teams have been asking Northrop Grumman to add the nonlethal weapon to its robots, Kauchak said. The Taser is removable and can be recharged on the robot.

Titus also features a set of intuitive controls that are modeled from game console controllers. The vehicle comes with various preset actions that are loaded into it, such as opening doors, so it takes less time to complete a mission, said Kauchak.

At full extension, its arm can lift an object weighing 15 pounds, and when closer to the vehicle, it can pick up 20 pounds, said Kauchak.

Northrop Grumman will likely sell the robot for between $125,000 to $175,000 beginning in the first quarter of 2013, said Knopp. The company will look to local and state police agencies, hazmat crews, SWAT teams and the Defense Department as potential customers.

“We wanted to create a base system mobility-wise and expansion-wise and serve a lot of different markets,” said Kauchak.

The company has not sold any of the robots yet, but is responding to about 16 to 20 proposals, Knopp said. Remotec will begin manufacturing Titus in the first quarter of 2013.

Northrop Grumman also showed off a prototype for its new manipulator, the Lobster — named for its claw-like shape — that can cut wires to diffuse a bomb or remove objects from suspicious packages. 
Once development work is completed, perhaps as early as 2013, the Lobster will will be offered as an accessory for Remotec's line of robots.

Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman


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