HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
Blog
Slideshow: See the Joint Robotics Repair Detachment in Action
3/20/2013

Image 1 of 5      Next >

A technician works on a Foster-Miller robot.   (Source: Dave Bullock)
A technician works on a Foster-Miller robot.
(Source: Dave Bullock)

Image 1 of 5      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
So that's how military robots keep going
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2013 1:36:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for writing this, Cabe. It's fun to see the repair crew behind many of the crazy military robot types I've written about.

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
warren@fourward.com   3/20/2013 3:54:49 PM
NO RATINGS
We could say that we install a robot and we gain a team of robot repair men.  But we lose 50 jobs that the robot replaced.  It is a tough decision.  That is 50 people that could be buying your product.

But in the case of the military, we could be saving 50 lives.

Tough call!

 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
Ann R. Thryft   3/20/2013 4:10:07 PM
NO RATINGS
To me, those look like really different, non-intersecting scenarios. If a military IED-handling robot replaces a human job, it also saves lives. But replacing jobs in industry doesn't save any lives.

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
warren@fourward.com   3/20/2013 6:06:25 PM
NO RATINGS
True, but losing your job can seem like dying.  But this isn't the point of the article.  I am thrilled that a mechanical arm dies instead of a soldier.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
Cabe Atwell   3/20/2013 11:00:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Most of these military bots are used to investigate possible explosives, or infiltrate dangerous areas.

I don't see anyone in the unemployment office talking about their IED investigation job they lost. "The dang robots. Came in, took my job."

In this case, the robot designers employed people, a new brand of the military was created, people are getting hired everywhere here.

C

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
mrdon   3/21/2013 2:18:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, This article just illustrates how disruptive tech can open opportunities for future employment. With proper technical training, the field of robotics can create future jobs. Those who wish not to be retrain and complain about being unemployed have made their own bed to rest in. Great article!! 

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
Cabe Atwell   3/25/2013 2:43:59 PM
NO RATINGS
MrDon,

Yes, this is one of the few occasions where bots are a welcome site in the work place.

 

In a gesture of brotherly love and DIY finesse, Ernie Fessenden built an RC truck with a built in camera to keep his bother safe in Afghanistan. His brother, Sergeant Chris Fessenden, routinely used this "Traxxis Stampede RC truck" in the battle field. The RC truck's hood mounted camera sent a video relay to an LCD that Sergeant Chris Fessenden had attached to his rifle. When an object in the road looked suspicious, the RC truck would be deployed.

During one such incident, the truck was sent out to investigate an area. During the investigation, the RC truck triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) intended to be used on Sergeant Fessenden's convoy. All soldiers were saved from the 500 pounds of explosives, but the $500 dollar RC truck was lost. Ernie Fessenden has already sent another replacement. He is a good brother.

What troubles me in this story is the fact that a home-made device is all the group of soldiers had to investigate a possible trap. I think something like this RC truck should be in every military vehicle. Are a handful of lives not worth $500? If I had Ernie Fessenden's plans for his truck, I would gladly build a few.

(Story pulled from element14)

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
mrdon   4/19/2013 4:53:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, I totally agree with you 100%. A $500 investment is quite small interms of saving lives. Somewhat disappointed to hear thou.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
William K.   3/23/2013 4:39:24 PM
NO RATINGS
That would be the one job to refuse, which is the one recovering unexploded ordinance. THAT is a very dangerous job, since the defects in "whatever" are unknown and in addition very unpredictable.

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
warren@fourward.com   3/23/2013 8:58:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Well, William K, its a living...  :-)

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
Ann R. Thryft   3/21/2013 1:02:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Warren, that gave me a laugh!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
William K.   3/23/2013 4:36:32 PM
NO RATINGS
IT would have been a whole different scene if there had been robotic infantry back in 1967. When a robot dies, nobody cries.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: So that's how military robots keep going
mrdon   3/21/2013 2:13:14 AM
NO RATINGS
warren@fourward.com, I agree It is a tough call but Cabe's article provides motivation and inspiration to return to school an receive training in robotics and electromechanics tech fields. I'm inspired as well as motivated because I can share the slides and video with my ITT Tech Students about jobs in the technology field of robotics and electromechanics. I'm truly pumped up about this article and video!

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Interesting controller
Jim_E   3/21/2013 10:40:29 AM
NO RATINGS
I found it interesting that the one robot was controlled by what appeared to be a standard gaming controller.  Now that's one way to utilize gaming skills!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Interesting controller
Ann R. Thryft   3/21/2013 1:10:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim_E, we've written about a few robots controlled by iPads, such as the Parrot AR. Drone 2.0:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=238273
A surprising number of military robots are being designed using platforms based on OTS hobbyist or gamer technology.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Interesting controller
mrdon   3/21/2013 1:58:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, It's quite interesting you mentioned gamer technology because I was quite intrigue with the solider operating the iRobot Packbot using a game controller. Also, wearable devices are quite big with the military as shown in the video with a heads-up display system embedded with the sunglasses. Cool video!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Interesting controller
Ann R. Thryft   3/21/2013 2:03:26 PM
NO RATINGS
mrdon, Jim_E actually brought up gamer technology, but I think it's interesting that widely available input devices like iPads, iPods, or gamer controllers are being used for a lot of military robotics. It's all basically OTS, or COTS in mil terms.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Interesting controller
mrdon   3/21/2013 2:12:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, Oops, ok. As it relates to iPads and iPods, I recently developed an Android App for my smartphone using App-Inventor software to create a simple gesture controller for my LEGO Mindstorms NXT controller. Using portable devices like iPads, iPods, and Android smartphones integrated with gesture control software can create new technologies to be used with OTS and COTs as well.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Interesting controller
Cabe Atwell   3/25/2013 2:44:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim_E,

Gaming controllers are often used in drone/bot activity in the military. A great use of gaming skills, but way more traumatizing than any game. I wonder how detached those pilots become..

C

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Re: gaming controllers for military robotics
Jim_E   3/26/2013 1:23:41 PM
>Gaming controllers are often used in drone/bot activity in the military. A great use of >gaming skills, but way more traumatizing than any game. I wonder how detached >those pilots become..

As a former gamer,I almost hate to say this, but I suspect that the current ultra-realistic first person shooter (FPS) games likely end up having the players develop a sort of insensitivity towards what they are doing. 

I must be getting old, but when I read about how some of these modern day mass murders played FPS games, I can't help but think that the games might have some influence on their actions.  Obviously most of them have some sort of mental health problems, and you can't just blame the games (or the guns) but it can't be a beneficial thing for them to play FPS games.

 

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: gaming controllers for military robotics
Cabe Atwell   3/27/2013 10:40:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim,

You certainly have inspired me to look into the drone pilot's mental health. I would like to know more than "this many people died from drones today" type of coverage.

C

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
PowerStream is deploying the microgrid at its headquarters to demonstrate how people can generate and distribute their own energy and make their homes and businesses more sustainable through renewables.
Printrbot unveils its all-metal Printrbot Simple, bringing durability to low-cost 3D printers.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service