Energid awarded contract to develop a chemical/bioagent detection robot for the Army

Cambridge, Massachusetts (August 15, 2006)–The Energid Technologies team, consisting of commercial partners iRobot and re2 and research partner Harvard University, has been competitively selected to design and build a robot for the detection of chemical and biological agents. The recent rise in asymmetric warfare and terrorism has brought about an increased threat from biological and chemical weapons. Their potential lethality and their indiscriminate nature make them natural choices for use as a terror weapon. Quick, reliable, and safe detection of these agents is imperative for first responders who often put themselves at risk by entering disaster sites blind.

During Phase I, Energid will design a dexterous manipulator for assay collection and airborne detection. The system will make use of iRobot’s PackBot platform and will be equipped with multiple bioagent and chemical sensors. Included in the sensor suite is a SERS-based spectrometer being developed at Harvard University capable of quickly and accurately identifying chemical and biological battlefield agents. The SERS technology will potentially provide a universal detection subsystem for chemicals, bioagents, industrial toxic gases, and chemical components of IEDs.