FLIR Ramps Up its Unmanned Systems Strategy

FLIR acquires third unmanned systems company, UGV manufacturer Endeavor Robotics.

14 February 2019

 FLIR Systems continues to ramp up its activities in the unmanned systems space with its latest acquisition of Endeavor Robotics, one of the largest unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) providers to the US Department of Defense.

FLIR agreed to acquire Endeavor, a leading developer of battle-tested, tactical UGVs for the global military, public safety, and critical infrastructure markets, from Arlington Capital Partners for $385 million in cash.

Along with the recent acquisition of Canadian unmanned air systems developer Aeryon Labs, an its earlier tie-up with Norway's Prox Dynamics, the manufacturer of the Black Hornet nano UAV, FLIR has significantly expanded its unmanned systems capabilities.

“The acquisition of Endeavor Robotics, coupled with previous acquisitions of Aeryon Labs and Prox Dynamics, has positioned FLIR as a leading unmanned solutions provider and advances the strategy we detailed at our Investor Day last year,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. “This acquisition aligns with our evolution from sensors to intelligent sensing and ultimately solutions that save lives and livelihoods. Endeavor’s momentum with the US DoD and other global defense and police forces provides us significant opportunity to participate in long-term franchise programs and will help us create growth for the company.”


Australian Army soldiers demonstrate the PD-100 Black Hornet Nano unmanned aircraft vehicle during a training exercise  in May 2018.


Endeavor’s highly-mobile and easy to operate ground robots use advanced sensing and actuation to assist with explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance, inspection, and hazardous materials support for troops, police, and industrial users at stand-off range.

Based outside Boston and formerly known as iRobot Defense & Security, Endeavor has shipped more than 7,000 UGVs to customers in more than 55 countries. Their robots have been deployed in numerous applications, including by police and SWAT teams, by first responders, and at nuclear power and industrial plants.

Having recently been awarded the US Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) contract, Endeavor is a major participant in several opportunities with the US DoD and its ally militaries worldwide.

Having the largest deployed fleet of tactical robotics systems in the world, Endeavor has more than 30-years experience in advanced ruggedised UGVs. The company’s family of UGVs covers a broad spectrum of robot weight classes, from the five-pound throwable FirstLookreconnaissance robot to the 500-pound Kobra™heavy-lift robot. All models use a common command and control system.

Endeavor’s modular approach to design also allows for varying payloads and sensor systems for the needs of each customer, including imaging and reconnaissance, vehicle and room inspection, bomb disposal, hazardous materials detection and disposal, radiation monitoring, and route clearance.

“Joining forces with FLIR Systems will allow Endeavor to take its life-saving technology to the next level, so we can better serve the warfighter, the police officer, and the first responder who use our robots on the frontlines every day,” said Sean Bielat, CEO of Endeavor. “We’re excited to be part of a company that sees its strategic growth in unmanned systems and will invest in our products, platforms and people. It is a tremendous fit and we look forward to the mission ahead.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, which is expected in the first quarter of 2019, Endeavor will be part of the FLIR Government and Defense Business Unit’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions division. The transaction is expected to be $0.03 dilutive to FLIR Systems’ 2019 adjusted earnings per share due to borrowing costs associated with funding the transaction, and accretive thereafter.