Military robot maker makes Cork R&D investment

30 Mar 2007

A security equipment maker that manufactures robots for the Canadian Department of National Defence and a US federal agency is to almost double the numbers employed in research and development (R&D) activities at its Cork operation.

Allen-Vanguard, which currently employs 37 people with nine engaged in R&D, will expand to employ 45 people with 16 people engaged in R&D.

The Cork operation was previously an Irish-owned company called Kentree Limited, and was acquired by Allen Vanguard.

The company is licensed by the Irish Government to export dual-use products that are capable of being used in both commercial and military applications.

Allen-Vanguard manufactures robots that are used by security forces to perform dangerous tasks and reduce the risk to personnel.

Robots for the Canadian Department of National Defence and a US federal agency are currently being manufactured at the Cork plant.

“This is not simply an investment in an Irish facility but an investment in the safety of services personnel and civilians at a global level,” said Eamon Jackson, director of operations at Allen-Vanguard in Cork.

The company’s products include a range of remote intervention products for hazardous applications, vehicle barrier systems, suspect package containers and electronic counter-measures (ECM) equipment for jamming remote detonation of terrorist devices.

“Robots have evolved greatly over the past 30 years but further R&D is needed to take them to the next step and meet the objectives of the security forces for the robotisation of key tasks traditionally done by humans,” said Jackson.

By John Kennedy