Today: Bomb Tech

This week I have been going to Remotec in Oak Ridge for training on our Andros 6A. This company makes the robots that are most popular with bomb squads and the military. Its also the same company that made the robot that was first seen in Stargate.

Well our lab has one of the original Andros robots. Recently, we acquired another one that is a little bit newer (but still old). Part of the acquisition is training classes. I was already familiar with how the robot itself moves but these classes were good. On Tuesday we stripped it down (nuts and bolts) and cleaned it out. This was so we would leran how to service the robot ourselves. When we left on Tuesday, we had not assembled the Arm on it, because we were going to go over the electronics on Thursday.

Today we did just that. We went over the electronics and steps we would be able to take to figure out if we have a bad board or something else. It wasn’t very interesting, but we went through it. Once this was finished, we fully assembled the robot back to the way it should be and got some practical experience. I got the job of being on the bomb squad. A bomb was planted in a car and I had to retrieve it. Navigating to the car was quite easy, but once I was there, it starts to get a little more difficult. I had to open the car door using the arm and grip. Once the door was open, the robot had to be moved to allow for the arm to get into the car and retrieve it. I did it succesfully in about 6 minutes. I was told this was a very good time.

The last part of the training was learning how to make the robot climb stairs. It turns out climbing the stairs is actually pretty easy, but coming down is really were you can screw it up. We were all a little reluctant at first because its a $115,000 robot and nobody wants to break a $115,000 robot. All three of us successfully went up and down the stairs with the robot and successfully completed our Andros Training.