iRobot's military PackBot is being deployed at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil
iRobot's military PackBot is being deployed at the Fifa World Cup in BrazilUnited States Department of Defense

Terrorists targeting the 2014 Fifa World Cup be warned – the Brazilian government will have 30 military-grade PackBots on hand to boost security in all 12 host cities.

Brazil has secured a $7.2m (£4.3m, €5.25m) deal with iRobot, a US-based company that makes domestic robots for consumers, as well as defence and security robots for the military.

Bearing a passing resemblance to Short Circuit's Johnny Five, the PackBot is one of the most successful battle-tested robots in the world.

Weighing just under 18kg, the remote-controlled robot fits in a backpack and comes with built-in flippers that rotate 360 degrees, so that the robot can climb stairs and rough terrain including rubble, rocks and logs.

It can survive 2m falls, be submerged in up to one metre of water and travels at a top speed of 9km/h.

The PackBot was first used in Afghanistan in 2002 to help soldiers clear caves, collapsed buildings and bunkers, as well as to cross minefields. By 2007, more than 800 PackBots were being used throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

In 2011, after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a PackBot was sent into the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant first to check damage.

In addition to searching areas unsafe for humans, the PackBot can perform different types of bomb disposal tasks and provide real-time video and other crucial information while performing surveillance of a life-threatening situation.

The PackBots will be on duty during all Fifa football matches to examine suspicious objects and to provide additional surveillance.