Dragon Runner, the 20-pound “throwable” reconnaissance robot developed at the Robotics Institute, is the world’s most durable military robot, according to the editors of the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records.
Hagen Schempf, principal systems scientist at the Robotics Institute, led the development of the ultra-rugged Dragon Runner. Twelve prototypes, built by spin-off Automatika Inc., were delivered to the U.S. Marines in 2004. Several models of Dragon Runner are now produced commercially by QinetiQ North America, which purchased Automatika in 2007. Hundreds of units have since been sold into explosives ordnance disposal duty in the Middle East.