Bomb Squad Robots
March 24, 2010
I was visiting the Arizona Science Center this weekend with my kids (great place, BTW). Just outside the building there was a big Bomb Squad van and they were demonstraiting two of their robots. Here's a picture of one of them with my 6 year old son next to it. They let him drive it around using its remote control.
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so I didn't get a shot of the other one or any video, which would have been sweet. At least my cell phone allowed me to get this one shot.
The robot above had a simple gripper up front and several cameras.
Update: I determined this robot is a Foster-Miller TALON model, which is used for miliary and civil operations where it is better to risk a robot than a human's life. These are being used in Iraq to help dispose of IEDs.
Here's a brochure from Foster-Miller: http://www.foster-miller.com/literature/documents/TALON-Brochure.pdf#talon_brochure
I found two videos of the Seattle Police Department demonstrating their TALON, which are the first two videos posted below.
The other robot had four wheels and tracks wrapped around the gears. I spoke gentleman demonstrating it and he said if the tracks broke (which they occasionally do), it would make no difference and the robot would continue on wheels. Cool idea. That robot had at least four cameras (one in each direction), plus infrared. Its gripper was used a parallel jaw action, rotating wrist, extendable arm,
etc. Really neat.
I was told both robots got used in some popular movies, but I wasn't familiar with them.
Update: The 2nd robot was used in the film, "The Hurt Locker". I'm trying to embed some video from a movie clip, but having technical issues.
Update: I found a picture of the 2nd robot online. It is apparently a verson of HBA System Integrators Northrop Grumman Andros robot HD-1.
More info available here: http://www.is.northropgrumman.com/by_solution/remote_platforms/product/hd_1/index.html
I'm trying to find some video of both robots.