Hooligans planning to disrupt the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer will have to arm themselves against an unusual foe, after the South American country announced plans to police venues with military-grade robots.
The Brazilian government has signed a $7.2 million deal to buy 30 so-called PackBots from Massachusetts-based biz iRobot, according to Robohub.
The bots will reportedly be used to enhance security at World Cup venues and examine suspicious objects.
The chosen bots look similar to the “Wheelbarrow” bomb disposal bots developed by the British army in the ‘70s to de-fuse bombs.
The chosen hardware can apparently reach a top speed of nine miles an hour, rotate 360 degrees, climb 60-degree gradients and withstand submersion in two metres of water.
It’s also fitted with GPS, temperature sensors, an electronic compass and video display, the report said.
The PackBot apparently weighs less than 40lbs (18kg) so it can be carried in a back pack for swift deployment at venues.
Confronting aggressive football fans should be no problem either, given that the bot has apparently seen action clearing caves and minefields in Afghanistan and searching vehicles in Iraq.
The machine also has the dubious honour of being the first remote-controlled robot to enter the stricken Fukushima nuclear facility after the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011, according to Robohub. ®