News Release

 View printer-friendly version

<< Back

iRobot Names Former Undersecretary of Defense to Board of Directors

University of Maryland Vice President for Research Jacques S. Gansler Brings Military Acquisition Expertise to Robotics Leader

BURLINGTON, <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 /?>Mass. - Aug. 3, 2004 - iRobot Corp., the world's leading manufacturer of mobile robots, today named Jacques S. Gansler to its board of directors. Gansler, a professor at the University of Maryland, joins iRobot at a time when the company is actively expanding its Government & Industrial Robotics Division with major contract wins and a new Crystal City office.

Gansler teaches graduate courses in management and leadership and national security, and is the university's vice president for research. He holds the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise and leads the school's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, which fosters mutually beneficial collaboration among the public, private and non-profit sectors. 

Previously, Gansler served four years as the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, managing an annual budget of over $180 billion and a workforce of over 300,000. He was responsible for Department of Defense acquisition, research and development, logistics, acquisition reform, advanced technology, international programs, environmental security, and nuclear, chemical and biological programs.

"Jacques' depth of experience in government, particularly in the area of military procurement, will be a tremendous asset to iRobot as we continue to expand our Government & Industrial Robotics Division," said Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot.

iRobot's PackBot mobile robot is the new standard in unmanned reconnaissance and tactical solutions. Today, over 50 PackBots are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, assisting in thousands of reconnaissance and bomb disposal operations. PackBot robots search dangerous and inaccessible areas, acting as eyes and ears for soldiers and providing real-time intelligence while keeping them out of harm's way. iRobot recently won a contract worth an estimated $37 million to develop a next-generation Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle for the U.S. Army's groundbreaking Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.

"Intelligent robots are already saving lives on the battlefield, but true success depends just as much on the human and organizational infrastructures that use and support the robots," said Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, Ret.), executive vice president and general manager of iRobot's Government & Industrial Robotics Division. "Jacques' instincts and foresight will serve us well as iRobot continues matching its technological and practical expertise to the real needs of our nation's soldiers."

Prior to his position as undersecretary of defense, Gansler spent two decades with TASC Inc., an applied information technology company serving the government and private sectors. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of defense, materiel acquisition, and was responsible for all defense procurements. In addition, he served as assistant director of defense research and engineering (electronics).  He also held several high-level positions with industry leaders including Singer Corp. and Raytheon Corp.

"iRobot's place at the forefront of military robotics will give me the opportunity to make a high-level contribution to our nations strategic robotics initiatives,"  said Gansler. "I am humbled to be joining the best minds in the robotics industry, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge of military acquisition with my esteemed fellow board members."

From 1984 to 1997, Gansler was a visiting scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was a frequent guest lecturer in executive management courses.  He has published three books and over 100 papers, and is a frequent speaker and congressional witness.

About iRobot Corporation
iRobot has a long commitment to building robotic products that make living safer and easier for people in many walks of life. Over the past 14 years, iRobot has developed and built innovative products for the government, law enforcement, industrial cleaning and toy industries, as well as the consumer marketplace.  In 2003, co-founders Helen Greiner and Colin Angle were named Ernst & Young regional Entrepreneurs of the Year for their innovative work in technology.  For additional information about iRobot, visit www.irobot.com.