Hazardous Material Detection and Fire-Fighting

First responders on the frontline dealing with terrorist incidents, fires or natural disasters need operationally proven systems to help keep them away from danger.

QinetiQ’s scalable range of hazardous material (HAZMAT) detection and removal and fire-fighting robots include:

  • the TALON robot
  • the Dragon Runner robots
  • the Spartacus system, and
  • our Robotic Appliqué Kit

We also offer a fully-managed emergency service which uses our ground robots to tackle extremely hazardous situations. This service is used by UK Network Rail, the Highways Agency and Transport for London to assist with fires – especially those involving hazardous gases such as acetylene cylinders, and other serious incidents on major transport systems.

In collaboration with the Japanese government, we sent QinetiQ Dragon Runner 20s, TALONs, and Robotic Appliqué Kits, all with radiation sensors, into Japan in April 2011 to assist with the country’s natural disaster recovery efforts at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Our Spartacus unmanned Bobcat loaders – which included seven cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors – could be operated from more than half a mile away to safely remove rubble and debris, clear pathways, dig up buried objects and carry smaller equipment forward, such as the TALONs and Dragon Runner 20s. A team of QinetiQ technical experts also provided onsite training and support.

Talon robot


We are the world’s leading supplier of military robotics designed to help military personnel and first responders stay out of harm’s way.

The lightweight tracked vehicles can be deployed on missions including improvised explosive device (IED) and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), reconnaissance, communications, security, defence and rescue.

The TALON system has grown to include specialised accessories such as found on the:

  • TALON CBRNE/HAZMAT – with hazardous material detection devices
  • TALON w/GEN IV Heavy Lift – with a heavy duty rotating shoulder and longer reach
  • TALON SWAT/MP – equipped for frequently-encountered tactical scenarios

For more information, visit the QinetiQ North America website.


Dragon Runner robot

HAZMAT: Dragon Runner™ 20

The DR-20™ Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) is a highly specialised system that has the ability to see around corners and into tight spaces, and the dexterity to go where personnel can’t – whether it’s under a car at a security checkpoint, or deep inside a sewer or drainpipe.

Modular and reconfigurable, DR-20’s flexibility equips it for a wide range of applications, especially in congested urban settings – including:

  • ordnance disposal
  • reconnaissance
  • inspection
  • security
  • Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) sensor delivery

Not much larger than a child’s radio controlled vehicle, this powerful robot’s capabilities include a manipulator arm that can lift up to 10lbs.

For more information, visit the QinetiQ North America website.


HAZMAT: Spartacus™

Developed in partnership with Bobcat Company, the Spartacus™ robot comes in a number of variants ranging in weight from 5,000lbs to 12,500lbs.

The smallest in the Spartacus line is the robotic Bobcat T-110 diesel powered skid steer loader, which, as an example, can be equipped with mine rollers and command wire rakes designed to seek out buried munitions and command wires, as widely used by the US Army in Afghanistan. Bobcat has over 80 tools for their loaders, making Spartacus a highly versatile family of robots.

All Bobcat loaders with SJC (Selectable Joystick Controls) – from the T-110 to the largest T-870 – can be equipped with QinetiQ’s Robotic Appliqué Kit. Flexible radio options give operators an array of frequency solutions.

For more information, visit the QinetiQ North America website.


Robotic applique

HAZMAT: Robotic Appliqué Kit

Our Robotic Appliqué Kit temporarily transforms a Selectable Joystick Controlled (SJC) Bobcat loader into a remotely operated Spartacus robot, capable of using more than 80 Bobcat-approved attachments.

The loader can be sent down-range to handle large, deeply buried IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs or land mines and unexploded ordnance.

The controller kit can be installed in around 15 minutes. It works on more than 16,000 SJC Bobcat loaders across multiple different models produced since 2001 and sold worldwide.

For more information, visit the QinetiQ North America website.