iRobot 110 FirstLook hands-on (video)
By Brian Heater posted Mar 9th 2012 12:03PM
iRobot’s Bedford, Massachusetts headquarters is literally crawling (well, rolling) with robots of all shapes and sizes, from friendlier household fare like Scoobas and Roombas, to the 450-pound Warrior battlefield ‘bot, which patrols the perimeter, looking for mock IEDs. The highlight of our trip this week, however, had to be the time we spent with 110 FirstLook. Sure, durability is job number one, when you’re building products for the military, but the plucky little robot takes things to a whole new level.
At five pounds, you can pick the thing up and toss it — in fact, the company encourages such action. The FirstLook was built to be thrown into dangerous areas, and it’s rugged enough to smash through plate glass windows to get there. The ‘bot has a patch of skateboard-like grip tape on its top, opposite the bendable antenna, so you can easily grab it with single hand. You toss the FirstLook side arm, like a frisbee, and no matter what side it lands on, the rubber treads will cushion the blow a bit. If it happens to hit the ground upside down (with the antenna on the bottom), the triangle wings on either side can be slowly extended in either direction to right the robot. Same goes for when it bounces down a flight of stairs, unharmed.