iRobot's ( IRBT) announcement that it has bagged a $16.6 million order for delivery of more than 100 explosive-detection robots for use in the U.S. military in Iraq should reassure investors about the potential of the company's military business.

Shares of iRobot were recently up 40 cents, or 2.2%, to $18.88.

For its latest order, iRobot has teamed up with Washington, D.C.-based homeland security specialist ICx Technologies to integrate its explosive-detection technology onto its PackBot platform, or robots designed for military use. The technology had been tested in Iraq during the past year, said iRobot.

The $16.6 million contract was granted by the Naval Air Systems Command, and iRobot expects to begin delivery of the units in the first half of this year.

iRobot reported revenue of $55 million for its third quarter ended Sept. 30.

iRobot's PackBot platform offers lightweight robots that can be used for search, surveillance or explosive detection.

The payload from ICx can detect explosives' vapors emanating from improvised explosive devices. Combined with PackBot that has a 7-foot arm, it enables the robot to place the explosive sensor close to suspicious packages and other objects, as well as reach through car windows and under vehicles. PackBot can then use its on-board capabilities to destroy IEDs, said iRobot.

The partnership with ICx is important for iRobot because it helps extend the capabilities of the company's robots to include detection and remediation.

iRobot has delivered more than 800 PackBot robots to military and civilian customers worldwide to date, the company said.

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