Inside the Robot Lab - PackBot on Tiptoes

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2012-05-28
 
 
 

Inside the Robot Lab

iRobot developed the Create robot as s development platform for people interested in using the Roomba chassis to create their own robots. This robot consists of the chassis (minus the vacuum cleaner parts) and an interface module. This particular robot wa

Inside the Robot Lab

Inside the Robot Lab - PrinterBot

The iRobot Create, showing its sand painting mechanism. The engineer who developed this essentially mated a dot-matrix printer mechanism, a bottle of sand, and some special software to the robot. When used for worship, it probably prints something besides

Inside the Robot Lab - PrinterBot

Inside the Robot Lab - Cleaning up

An iRobot Roomba Discovery cleans up the mess after the Create made its sand painting. The Roomba Discovery then noticed that the carpet wasnt as clean as it would like, and attempted to clean the rest of the iRobot offices before being retrieved by empl

Inside the Robot Lab - Cleaning up

Inside the Robot Lab - PackBot Controls

This is the control unit of the iRobot PackBot, the most popular of the companys military models. The wheels on the base control speed and direction of the robot and any installed devices, while the buttons select the mode of operation or the device to b

Inside the Robot Lab - PackBot Controls

Inside the Robot Lab - Laptop Link

Theres also a laptop sized device for controlling the PackBot. In this case, its running a robot named Redowl, which sees things in infrared.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Laptop Link

Inside the Robot Lab - The PackBot

This is the iRobot PackBot with a surveillance attachment. The robot can sustain a 200G fall without damage, and it can extend its high-resolution television camera higher than six feet above the ground. Theres also a gripper hand on the camera boom so

Inside the Robot Lab - The PackBot

Inside the Robot Lab - PackBot on Tiptoes

This PackBot shows how it can get a little better look for its multi-function sensors. This sensor not only includes cameras, but it can sense and locate a gunshot instantly, allowing troops to locate snipers. Trying this one out was just plain spooky.

Inside the Robot Lab - PackBot on Tiptoes

Inside the Robot Lab - The Sniper Sensor

A close look at the sniper sensor. Note that the face contains both audio and video sensors. It can rotate in any direction to find, and then expose the sniper it detects. iRobot also makes autonomous robots that can shoot back. I was afraid to ask if the

Inside the Robot Lab - The Sniper Sensor

Inside the Robot Lab - Clapping for Effect

iRobot employee Ori Taka claps her hands to simulate gunfire. As you can see, the robot already has her in its sights.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Clapping for Effect

Inside the Robot Lab - Looking Up

When this PackBot needs to see over a wall or through a window, it can extend itself to heights of well over six feet.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Looking Up

Inside the Robot Lab - Smell-o-vision

iRobot employee Jon Souliere shows off a new chemical sensing robot that can sniff out bombs without endangering people.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Smell-o-vision

Inside the Robot Lab - New Robot Control

Yes, thats a Logitech game controller. And yes, thats the iRobot logo painted on it. The company has found that younger troops used to their PlayStations can really related to robots when they use this control. Apparently it greatly reduces training ti

Inside the Robot Lab - New Robot Control

Inside the Robot Lab - Lending a Hand

iRobot Chair Helen Greiner shows off the lifting arm of the new iRobot Warrior. This arm is strong enough that it can lift Greiner, not to mention soldiers in full battle gear, howitzer shells, and combat supplies. Greiner said that it can also carry a su

Inside the Robot Lab - Lending a Hand

Inside the Robot Lab - Help When You Need It

The iRobot CoWorker is designed to provide a presence so that company experts can be on site without having to travel. It can travel around a job or factory site, for example, and provide a teleconferencing link to the company expert who can examine a job

Inside the Robot Lab - Help When You Need It

Inside the Robot Lab - A Life Saved

This EOD PackBot was returned to the factory for service after having been damaged in an explosion of an improvised explosive device in Iraq. On the control computer, engineers found a set of tally marks indicating that this robot had successfully disarme

Inside the Robot Lab - A Life Saved

Inside the Robot Lab - Crabby Robot

iRobot modeled this mine-clearing robot after the design of a crab. Like a crab, it can alter its gait if it loses a leg or two. Its designed to work underwater.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Crabby Robot

Inside the Robot Lab - Wall O\ Roombas

One wall of an iRobot conference room shows all of the models of the famed Roomba floor cleaning robot that have been developed to date.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Wall O\ Roombas

Inside the Robot Lab - The Basic Create

The iRobot Create, with its interface module, is designed to allow experiments in robotics. Users can rewrite the control code, add functions, create add-on capabilities, and develop new uses for robots. Greiner said that so many people were buying Roomba

Inside the Robot Lab - The Basic Create

Inside the Robot Lab - The Raptor

Not every iRobot product was designed with a serious purpose. The Raptor was designed either for fun, or to terrorize small pets.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - The Raptor

Inside the Robot Lab - Warrior Basics

This is the basic chassis of the Warrior robot. Its the size of a garden tractor, can carry heavy loads, and has a range of capabilities that iRobot is reluctant to explain in detail. Chairman Greiner described it as a Beast.

Photo: W

Inside the Robot Lab - Warrior Basics

Inside the Robot Lab - Roomba on Steroids

Just in case you thought the only floors a robot could clean were in your house, there is also a commercial model. This floor cleaning robot is designed for offices.

Photo: Wayne Rash / eWEEK

Inside the Robot Lab - Roomba on Steroids

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