Ft. Hood EOD Soldiers test new robotic system

Local

The U.S. Army, which is in it’s 50th year of operational testing, took on a brand new robot Thursday morning on Fort Hood.

The “Man Transportable Robotic System” (MTRS) alerts a team of a possible threat and investigates that threat, so soldiers don’t have to.

“The attempt is to use the robot so they don’t have to put a soldier in a bomb suit to interrogate and find the hazard on this target,” said Ed Jagodzinski, Military Test Plans Analyst.

In Thursday’s scenario, an Explosive Ordinance Detachment Team (EOD) got word of a possible threat inside a bunker. The Army’s goal is to use the robot to provide soldiers with another tool that detects, confirms, identifies, and disposes of hazards.

“So you don’t have to send a person into that environment, you could send a remotely controlled robot into that environment to give you information to make decisions,” said Jagodzinski.

As the robot entered the building, it was being controlled by an EOD soldier safe inside an MRAP.

“Robots these days in age are pretty easy to control most of them are based of a video game controller, if you will, an xbox playstation has similar ergonomics when it comes to that, so for our younger generation it’s very easy to use a robot platform,” said Sgt. Robert Brizzi, 797th EOD Platoon Sergeant.

Contracting command personnel were also on scene Thursday, getting a first-hand look at where their daily efforts are going.

“We’re previous soldiers, we’re veterans so to actually see that the work we are doing on this side affects soldiers is just awesome, we are continuing to contribute to the force,” said Tiffany Alexander, Contract Specialist.

All, to make sure our soldiers come home safe.

“For this EOD team, it’s two individuals but it can be used by up to a platoon size which would be 35 individuals. What it’s meant to provide is critical to keeping soldiers out of hazardous environments in the first place,” said Jagodzinski.

After testing is complete, all military services will determine whether MTRS is a good candidate for EOD soldiers.

If it is, it still has 1 to 2 more years before it can be used out on the field.

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