John Deere, iRobot to produce unmanned utility vehicle

John Deere and iRobot have unveiled an unmanned vehicle that will use off-the-shelf technology to perform dangerous military missions. Until now, the companies say, autonomous ground vehicles have been built using custom technology on an individual basis, which can be time consuming and costly. IRobot and John Deere plan to begin pilot production of the Robotic Gator by mid-2005, with full production slated to begin by 2006. The R-Gator is built on the John Deere military utility vehicle platform and is enhanced with iRobot military robotic controls and navigation and obstacle avoidance systems.