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Electronics Production | March 10, 2008

Jabil & iRobot develop robot for defence sector

US-based EMS provider Jabil has developed, in partnership with iRobot, a new machine for the defence sector.
The partnership reflects Jabil's effort to diversifying its business, into aerospace, defence and medical technology for example. Both, its defence and aerospace divisions, have grown at a compound annual rate of 102 percent.

Jabil Circuits has handled electronic circuitry on the PackBots for two years now. The robots' developer, Massachusetts-based iRobot, picked Jabil after a competitive bidding process in 2005. So far, iRobot has delivered 1,300 robots. The U.S. Army awarded an additional $286-million contract to iRobot for up to 3,000 more robots, in December 2007.

Consumer electronics and networking equipment are still the company's major business sectors, but the defence sector seems to bring in more business. The division has a total of 850 employees, however the majority - 650 staff – are based in the St. Petersburg facility.

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