IRobot Gets Awesome Exploding Rope Thingy


The iRobot Warrior 710 is shown here touting a new toy called an APOBS or Anti-Personnel Obstacle  Breaching System.  The system is comprised of an explosive rope pulled by a rocket. We know that sounds pretty awesome, and you can see in the video that it is, in fact, pretty awesome. We don’t condone violence, or war. We do, however, love blowin’ stuff up. This footage was just so pretty, we thought we had to share it. What’s even more amazing is that these guys aren’t battling Apple over the name iRobot.

[via botjunkie]

40 thoughts on “IRobot Gets Awesome Exploding Rope Thingy

  1. reminds me of an episode of samurai jack (from my younger years…). there was a robot that shot out explosive cords. good to see that my childhood robot overlord cartoons are coming true.

  2. I don’t really see why a robot needs to do this, I mean yeah it is nice to get people out of danger, but wouldn’t it be more dangerous to have a convoy sitting around waiting on a robot to roll over to a suspected IED and launch this thing that it would take for a soldier to just throw or launch a similar device from their humvee?

  3. Its not used for a random IED. This is used when attaching a fortified position that has employed wire, mines and other anti personnel devices. You wouldn’t drive a truck threw after it blows, you F@cking run and assault the OBJ on the other side. 5 years in the Infantry, I’ve used a man portable version of this in about 03, awesome to see it mounted on a robot.

  4. Apple does not own the letter “i”, so you can make anything and name it whatever you want and start it with “I”, apple can’t say crap about it. I mean noone can own rights to a letter.

  5. It’s about time they got a robot to do this sort of stuff. I once talked to a combat engineer who was deployed in Iraq, talk about a dangerous line of work. When they needed to clear various obstacles (fences,wires, sometimes mines, etc) sometimes they would use this system. They carried around this pack, set it down and aimed at the obstacle, when fired a cord with C4 or other plastic explosive in it would launch to lay on the obstacle and detonate. Basically the military put 2 and 2 together and threw the pack on top of a robot.

    I’m glad to see that everyday we are deploying more robots to disarm explosives, and clear obstacles, it helps our boys out whilst keeping them out of harms way.

  6. @Jack

    They already deploy this from manned vehicles. With the “robot”, you’re not getting shot at while breaching the road obstruction. If the “robot” gets hit, well, no biggy. If the Hummer gets hit, then you have to spend money on new caskets, the plane trip home for said caskets, funerals, life insurance….. The “robot” is much cheaper.

    By “robot” I mean “kick ass remote controlled car”.

  7. yeah they should just mount these one humvees rather have soldiers sit around like targets. Also there is already a “tank” type vehicle which does this, so this little robot thing is not impressive. lastly, did you all notice that the “rope” traveled at least 100yards from the robot, which means you have 100yards of unclear ground before you can even get to the cleared ground.

  8. Sorry to tell you this, but I know the Marine Corps could launch a string of det cord and the cord would land over and past obstacles, blow the cord, bye bye obstacles. They could do this 20 years ago. This system is simply a lot more portable now. Not to mention that there is nothing wrong with letting something else carry around explosives. Probably has better distance, and if you shoot the robot, you have to deal with the overlords.

  9. This is just a new version of a old thing. A long time ago they used Bangalore torpedos. Look it up on Google.

    This is just det cord used to clear mines, or a path from IEDs. Nice video for someone that has never seen what det cord can do.

  10. I second this as old tech – the string of exploding rope dates back to at least late 14th century.

    Having said that, it wasn’t something I’d think of. Also, this thing requires that you launch it along the direction of travel… sorta useless.

    It’s cool, as non-defensive booby traps go, but is it any better than a string of thermite or any flechette based solution?

    It just doesn’t seem to be out of the box thinking! They should reach farther back into the sands of time. I’d like to see tar and feathers come back into vogue. You know, except using an arduino and all that just to be trendy.

  11. Ok

    1. Its not a hack “NO WHERE NEAR IT” so why is it on hackaday, because they wanted to and they can.

    Get over it hackaday means nothing anymore, the name is just there because everyone knows it. It should be changed to newsaday, but if they feel the need to post news,articles,tutorials,howto’s, but not hacks well it is up-to them.

    2. I love the fact that they are using bots, for every robot used it is one less solder in the line of fire. You can replace a robot, but you can’t replace a family member.

    “I am spyder_21 and I support this video”

  12. @another old fart

    This is an obstacle clearing device, it doesn’t seem intended to kill/wound personnel so much as blow up mines, razorwire, junk laying about etc.

  13. I further this as OLD tech. I have demilitarized (ie: that means I broke it down for the government (as a government employee)) the same basic thing. They are called a MICLIC (pronounced Mick-Lick) ( Seven-eighths of a ton of C4 wrapped on a 7/8 inch nylon rope and three PETN det cords. All that encased in a long nylon sock, and the whole thing stuck in a box about 10 * 5 * 2.
    Each C4 block is separated from its neighbors by a short nylon cord tied outside the sock. (You can kind of see this starting about 1:12 into the clip.)
    Yes, it’s old tech. Yes, it’s cool. And, no, I can’t provide samples.

  14. Major fail, hackaday (and some commenters). iRobot has been in business for years making military robots, commercial robot vacuum cleaners, and something that every hacker/modder should know about: the Roomba.

    Tons of companies have been using an iXXX style name without any legal action from Apple. Which isn’t to say that Apple has never brought on a lawsuit for stupid reasons before, but it’s certainly not “amazing” that nothing is happening here.

  15. This thing isn’t designed for IED, this is old style removing barricades and razorwire stuff as far as I can tell, and that would be a reason to use a robot I guess because of enemy machinegun fire covering the area.
    IED are placed randomly and not in predicted spots in a small area, you cannot use a thing like this to do you average entire 500 mile road, 3 times daily, and even if you did the best you could hope for would be it cutting the remote control wires.
    Also this only works in a straight line and places without houses or people obviously.

  16. Useful tech but mines, IED, booby-traps used “properly” are not going to be on well designated geocaching locations.
    I also think this is more for physical obstacles.
    Would the shockwaves even reach a buried landmine/fuze?

  17. This is perfect for cleaning the driveway after a snow storm. 3 am and just push a button, BOOM the driveway is clear! Not sure what the neighbors would think though.

  18. I work at the company that makes APOBS –

    It is not just det cord. There are grenade like charges along the line every 18 inches.

    Yes, it does take out most buried mines.

    No, it is not designed to kill people. Just take out mines and obstacles like razor wire along a foot path.

  19. As Brian said, the robot is firing a MICLIC (Mine Clearing Line Charge). They are a standard issue system for Combat Engineer units. We sometimes haul them around on purpose made trailers, but the robot idea is great for a few reasons. First, the enemy likes to overwatch their booby traps and shoot people trying to breach them. Second, it does the job of both vehicle and soldier, and can even been used after the blast to verify that the mines were cleared through physical inspection, another little task we hate to do on the battlefield.

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