iRobot 110

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This little sucker's small stature masks its ruggedness. The iRobot 110 FirstLook weighs only three pounds and looks like a toy, but it's meant to be a scout in the most hazardous situations.

Soldiers or a rescue team can't get inside a building? Throw it hard and send it crashing through a window. You can remote control it through flooded areas (it's got flippers), have it climb steps, use its flashlight to spot a bomb, stand up to reach it and pull wires with a tiny hand. It all works with a video game-style controller.

Each one costs about $20,000, so they're chiefly marketed for use by military and first responders.

First published December 19, 2013: 5:14 AM ET

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