Thermo Fisher Scientific, formally Ahura Scientific, recently released two new handheld chemical detectors used to identify unknown solids from toxic industrial chemicals: the FirstDefender RM and the RMX. The devices can be used by industrial or public-safety clients, said Duane Sword, a company vice president of marketing.

Sword said the FirstDefender RM is the next-generation version of the company’s FirstDefender product line. It is lighter at 1.8 pounds but still houses a library of more than 10,000 chemicals, such as those used in explosives. It can be used in point-and-shoot mode or via the integrated vial holder and can detect chemicals in an average of 30 seconds, Sword said.

Thermo also introduced the RMX version deployed as an add-on to a wirelessly controlled robot. The RMX weighs 2 pounds and can be operated in handheld mode or attached to the gripper arm of a tactical robot, Sword explained. The configuration to run wireless over a robot’s system was developed in partnership with robot manufacturers QinetiQ North America and iRobot Corp. As a result, the detector can be connected to robots via an RS232 port and findings transmitted over a wireless network to a laptop, he said.

“Such remote operation lets users execute their response missions with a greater level of safety,” Sword said.