SOURCE: Cubic Corporation

July 15, 2008 07:00 ET

Cubic Introduces Unmanned Ground Assessment Robot for Bomb Squads and SWAT Teams

ORLANDO, FL and SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - It's not as clever or cute as WALL-E, the robot starring in this summer's hit animated feature, but a new robot being introduced by a defense unit of Cubic Corporation (AMEX: CUB) does do disposal duty -- bomb disposal.

An unmanned ground system called COUGAR -- Combined Operations Unmanned Ground Assessment Robot -- is designed for situations too high-risk for humans.

Ed Kulakowski, Director of Services and Robotics for Cubic Simulation Systems Division in Orlando, believes the compact COUGAR will be indispensable to military and law enforcement teams for use in bomb disposal and dangerous tactical situations.

"There's a growing market for robotics in the law enforcement and first responder community. In order to maintain their certification, police bomb squads are required to have robot equipment to keep their technicians out of harm's way as much as possible," Kulakowski said. "While many bomb technicians like larger robots, they're also more expensive, and because there are so few of them, it can take time to deploy them where needed. Our concept is to have a small device that fits in a squad car trunk and can be used to evaluate whether a threat is benign or needs to be eliminated."

Less than two feet long and two feet wide, and only about a half-foot tall, the six-wheeled COUGAR can be hand-carried. It's short enough to fit underneath a car or within confined spaces like tanks or cargo containers for clandestine surveillance. Its pivoting camera can provide daylight or infrared video from a line-of-sight range of up to 500 feet. The unmanned system is also armed with two disruptors. Several types of disruptor charges can be used depending on the nature of the threat -- with water and clay slug charges being the most common. The disruptors are boresighted with the camera and used to destroy the firing mechanism of a bomb, or to blow the end off a pipe bomb and render it harmless. Another type of disruptor is a flash-bang charge that generates an intense flash and a very loud sound impulse to create a diversion during a tense situation so SWAT teams or other tactical officers can enter a room or building more effectively.

Los Angeles-based Scientific Applications & Research Associates, Inc. (SARA) developed the base technology for COUGAR. Cubic has exclusively licensed and adapted the base technology, and is now introducing it to law enforcement and homeland security personnel on its home turf of Central Florida. An international supplier of training systems and defense communications equipment, Cubic has the size and marketing reach, as well as service and support capabilities, to launch the new product.

COUGAR represents a brand new focus for Cubic on the hot growth field of robotics. Kulakowski said future generations of COUGAR could be smart enough to perform certain tasks on its own in given situations. For now, an operator controls the device via handheld controller with a ruggedized laptop for visual display.

The Cubic Simulation Systems Division is part of the defense segment of Cubic Corporation, a world leader in realistic combat training systems, mission support services and defense electronics. The corporation's other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company's website at www.cubic.com.

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