June 27, 2019
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Maine robotics firm that made ‘Mad Max’ tank sold to RI conglomerate

Howe and Howe Technologies, a Waterboro maker of extreme robotic vehicles for military and other uses, said Thursday that its purchase by Textron Systems of Providence is complete.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the deal closed Dec. 17, 2018.

The 35 employees at Howe and Howe will keep their jobs, Ryan Hazlett, senior vice president at Textron, said on a conference call with reporters. He said Textron is optimistic about the growth of Howe and Howe, but would not reveal specific plans to hire more people in Maine.

The acquisition, announced last October, was made because Textron saw a gap in its product line resulting from the change in warfare tactics over the past 18 to 24 months from fighting insurgent groups to large-scale, peer-to-peer combat.

The company makes manned armored vehicles and aircraft, but it did not have a product for the U.S. Army to use for ground mobility, he said. The vehicles made by Howe and Howe are key to filling the gap.

Geoff and Mike Howe, both senior vice presidents of Howe and Howe, will remain at the company and focus on finding solutions for military and industrial customers.

“We will innovate to understand technology at a higher level … to bend the laws of physics,” Mike Howe said.

The brothers will work in a rapid application think tank that aims to get quick answers to customer problems.

Howe and Howe is known for developing the Ripsaw, a remote-controlled robotic tank that can move through extremes of terrains and other conditions. One version of it was used in the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” several years ago.

The brothers also were on the Discovery Channel’s “Black Ops Brothers” series in 2011.

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