The iRobot Corporation on Wednesday announced the release of its most affordable tactical robot, the Negotiator 200. The 34lb, remote controlled robot can climb and descend stairs and lets emergency response personnel stay clear of any potential dangers thanks to its built-in high-resolution color video camera and available chemical detection system. The video is sent via a 2.4GHz band while data, or control of the robot, is sent via the 900MHz frequency band, with either travelling as far as 800 feet in the line of sight.

The tracked robot includes 'flippers' that permit it to climb stairs and is powered by two nickel metal hydride batteries that provide it with between 3 and 6 hours of operation, depending on how it's outfitted. Optional accessories include a panning and tilting day or night camera, low-light infrared camera, a rear-mounted day or night camera, and a flood light system, among others. A MultiRAE Plus gas monitor detection system can also be fitted to the Negotiator 200.

Unlike the company's PackBot 510, which is bigger and meant for wartime applications and other hostile environments, the Negotiator is priced for the budgets of local, state and federal agencies in civil response operations.

Although iRobot has not released the pricing of the Negotiator 200, it urges interested parties to contact them for a quote and announced the device will become available in the fourth quarter of 2008.