The British Army have taken delivery of the first four cutting-edge bomb disposal robots following rigorous trials, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced…

The delivery comes from a total contract of £55 million for 56 robots. The Harris CorporationRR’s T7 unmanned ground vehicle are equipped with high-definition cameras, lightning-fast datalinks, an adjustable manipulation arm, and tough all-terrain treads, allowing them to neutralise a wide range of explosive threats.

The game-changing platform endured a variety of tests during an eight-week ‘acceptance’ trials period at UK and US sites specifically chosen to put the robots through their paces. The trials included multi-terrain driving, a series of battlefield missions, weightlifting and dexterity tasks, climatic and vibration testing, high stress capabilities, live-firings, maximum traversing angles and interoperability assessments.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “These robots will go on to be an essential piece of kit, preventing harm to innocent civilians and the brave operators who make explosives safe. The robots will provide the Army with the latest bomb-disposal technology and will prove to be trusted companions both on UK streets and in deadly conflict zones.”

Col Zac Scott, Head of the Defence EOD & Search Branch said: “Remote Control Vehicles are critical to the safe conduct of Explosive Ordnance Disposal tasks. The Harris T7 harnesses cutting-edge technology to provide EOD operators with unprecedented levels of mobility and dexterity. It represents a step-change in capability for our service personnel and it will save lives.”

The robots use ‘advanced haptic feedback’ to allow operators to ‘feel’ their way through the intricate process of disarming from a safe distance, protecting soldiers from threats such as roadside bombs. The haptic feedback function is designed to provide operators with human-like dexterity while they operate the robot’s arm using the remote-control handgrip.

All 56 robots are due to be delivered to the UK and in service by December 2020.