Dragon Runner has a new little brother. QinetiQ North America has just released the Dragon Runner 10, a diminutive variant of the existing Dragon Runner unmanned ground vehicle.

It's small enough to carry in an assault pack and rugged enough to be thrown into buildings and hostile environments, the company says. Although the Dragon Runner 10 looks similar to its larger sibling, QinetiQ director of business development Charles Dean said it's not just downsized.

"The Dragon Runner 10 shares mostly a history" with the Dragon Runner, now known as the Dragon Runner 20, Dean said.

"We went back to the drawing board and invented the Dragon Runner 10 from the ground up," Dean said. "In lots of ways it's a brand new robot." The Dragon Runner 10 incorporates lessons learned from the original vehicle, as customers needed something lighter and more transportable.

The system was introduced to the market on Tuesday. "Today is its birthday," Dean said.

The smaller Dragon Runner can be controlled with the same hand-held device as the original robot, but later this year QinetiQ will debut a new, smaller controller fit for a new, smaller robot.

"Some customers want a big display, they want to put icons on maps, then some customers want a small screen that fits in their pocket," Dean said.

In addition to the military, the Dragon Runner 10 could be used by first responders, Dean said. "All of our robots are used to separate good people from bad things, so that applies not only to the military but first responders."

Dragon Runner 10 is 15in long, 13.5in wide and 5.8in tall and can carry a variety of payloads. When thrown it can automatically flip video images, controls and antennas upon landing, the company says. It can move up to 4mph.

Source: Flight Daily News