Meet L3Harris’ family of life-saving robotic systems

L3Harris T4 and T7 family of robotic systems lights on SAS.
L3Harris T4 and T7 family of robotic systems lights on SAS.

The battlespace is constantly evolving, and missions are becoming increasingly challenging as a result.

Today, mission scenarios and tasks can be particularly complex and time-consuming, placing a considerable burden on personnel and often putting them into dangerous situations. From missions that require the clean-up of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) to the defeat and disposal of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), service people put their lives on the line every day to make the world a safer place.

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Robots have played a critical role for many years in ensuring the protection of personnel during such missions, providing them with the capabilities they need to respond to threats effectively and rapidly without putting themselves at risk. L3Harris Technologies’ growing family of robotic systems was built to save lives. Currently consisting of the large T7™ and the medium-sized T4™, these robots are remarkably robust, exceedingly agile, and highly intuitive.

T7: Revolutionary robotic control

Powerful, durable, and impressively precise, the T7 was purpose-built to address some of the key challenges identified by hundreds of robot users. An intuitive controller provides unparalleled human-like dexterity and best-in-class manipulation, making light work of difficult tasks such as unzipping bags or holding fragile vials. Thanks to the controller’s haptic force feedback, operators can also physically “feel” what the robot arm is doing, offering them an incredibly immersive experience. Extremely robust and highly available, the T7 can withstand heavy-duty usage without breaking and requires next-to-no preventative maintenance, meaning downtime is minimised.

T4: The world’s most capable medium-sized robot

Offering large robot capabilities in a medium-sized package, the T4 is a brilliantly capable system. Its manipulator arm reach and lift strength rivals even its “big brother” the T7, enabling it to perform tasks once beyond the scope of a medium robot. The T4 is also able to fire high-power explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) disruptors such as HOTROD and PIGSTICK repeatedly without taking damage, another capability not previously achievable for robots of its size. Modular by design, it can be broken down into subsystems for rapid deployment and easy transportation.

T4™ Multi-Mission Robotic System.
T4™ Multi-Mission Robotic System.

While both robots have their own strengths, the family of systems also offers collective benefits:

  1. Maximising mission effectiveness

Sharing a unique intuitive haptic controller, the T7 and T4 systems allow users to operate the robot arm as if it was their own hand. The precision and dexterity this makes possible means mission effectiveness is maximised and task completion time is significantly reduced. The advantages of the L3Harris haptic control system have been independently verified by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in human factors testing, with “100% of the users indicating it either somewhat improved or greatly improved their overall mission performance,” leading to a 20% reduction in task completion time and operator workload.

  1. Robust, reconfigurable robots

The modern battlespace demands agility and adaptability in the face of ever-evolving threats. As the T7 and T4 are both modular systems, each can be rapidly reconfigured in the field to readily meet new and emerging mission requirements. Multiple mission-specific attachments, sensors, payloads and tools can be added to the robots at will, meaning they’re ready for almost anything. This ease of upgradability ensures each robot is always performing at its optimum, extending service life and further reducing costs. Highly durable, thanks to an automotive-grade, all-terrain track system and ruggedized design, these robots are built to provide uncompromised performance everywhere.

  1. Common control and parts

Built on the foundations of the T7, the T4 shares many of the same features and capabilities. This means operation across the two systems is streamlined, operator burden is reduced, and training time is minimised. Operators can even switch between the robots using the shared controller, enabling both systems to be used for integrated missions. What’s more, due to the fact that they share so many common parts and interfaces, this means deployment and repair of the robots is much simpler, leading to substantial through-life cost savings in support, maintenance, and training.

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T7™ Multi-Mission Robotic System.

Keeping people out of harm’s way

L3Harris’ family of robots is often called upon to complete dangerous tasks so humans don’t have to. The T7 is currently the large robot of choice for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Project STARTER, having replaced their aging fleet of EOD unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The US Air Force also recently awarded L3Harris with a 10-year contract to produce up to 170 T7 robots to mitigate explosive threats at global bases. The T4 is being actively trialled and assessed by a number of military and law enforcement agencies all over the world.

Discover more about L3Harris’ family of robotic systems by visiting: l3harris.com/robotics