Atlanta Bomb Squad Talks About ‘Bots

pipebombSgt William Briley of the Atlanta PD Bomb knows what he’s talking about. He used to be a bomber for the military, blowing up bridges in Vietnam. He told Kris Tech Robot Magazine that “robots are the key to bomb safety, considering the increased trend of bombing in the U.S.”

Bombings Increasing? Absolutely. Remember the flurry of airlines hijacking in the late 60s and early 70s? Now, Americans should prepare for bombings. In fact, MOST improvised explosive devices are made by CHILDREN. And most would work. In a world where families are less stable, where an increasing number of children, black and white, are living without fathers (and mothers without jobs), proper socialization seems increasingly difficult. The weapon of choice for sociopaths is often a bomb: the anonymous expression of anger, the coward’s subconscious scream for help.

FOTO: pipe bomb, timer, shrapnel and satchel
Movies show the most impressive fiction. They show sophisticated triply booby trapped high tech explosives with digital detonators. And from a small pipe bomb comes a HUGE, city block-busting fireball. What do bomb squad guys think about the movies? I asked Staff Sgt Ray Pfand of the 9th EOD flight at Beale AFB, CA about his “favorite” movies. “Speed,” he says, “It’s hokey, He’s on the phone explaining the different colored wires. That wouldn’t help. There’s no standard for an improvised device.” And what about Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon. “Dumb. Why would the bomb give them a countdown to get away? This job really ruins the movies for me.” Check out the police logs in most cities, even small towns, and you’ll find that, mostly, people are tossing cheap black-powder filled pipe bombs onto roofs, into cars and into mailboxes. Most of the time it’s just lethal vandalism, deadly tagging.

That’s How Americans Bomb Americans.
Briley gives a broad brush view of what really happens on the scene of a suspected bomb. Each incident is different, and each one relies heavily on the training of the officer and the type of device. The officer first calls for the Bomb Squad. The next folks on the scene are the Bomb Squad Diagnostic Team.

Once the Diagnostic Team approaches, more decisions have to be made on the spot. Should they take the time to put on an 85-pound blast suit (NOT air-conditioned, by the way), or just carry the bomb to a truck and drive it away? If he can, he’ll call in a robot, always remembering that in the Bomb Squad, DISTANCE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. So call in the robot.

Some details about the OlyBomb have leaked out, even though APD and the Feds aren’t talking. Using what we know, KrisTech Robot Magazine photographed a mock pipe bomb similar to the one used in Centennial Park. SSgt Pfand and ANDROS posed for pics, showing how an ANDROS robot approaches a bomb. Would he tell us how to disarm it? Would he demonstrate ‘render safe’ procedures? Couldn’t he just swear us to secrecy about operational details? Nope. And even if he would, we wouldn’t publish it. EOD types are justifiably cautious, and they are not about to tell their secrets. Lives are at stake. And although this publisher is PRO-First Amendment, we’re NOT going to help cop killers.

Briley has seen many robots, including one that failed for a dead battery two minutes into its demonstration. So he’s skeptical. But then, he’s been impressed with the ANDROS robot. “The finest robot I’ve been associated with,” he says.

Briley was so impressed with ANDROS, we had to do some more research: Over 400 remote-controlled ANDROS units are at work in almost every continent and hot spot, including Haiti, Bosnia and the Persian Gulf, ‘rendering safe’ explosives, securing airports (Atlanta, for instance ) doing nuclear maintenance, dragging wounded victims to safety, and assisting SWAT ops wearing night vision adapters. It can even open a door with a key. ANDROS attended the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Democratic National Convention.

ANDROS comes in heavy (all terrain) and light varieties, wheeled and tracked, some capable of being carried in the trunk of a car and lugged by one man. Information supplied by REMOTEC’s Shawn Farrow states that most models climb stairs, and can deliver cameras, microphones and telephones into hostage situations. They can also carry shotguns and X-ray machines.

In Portland, an ANDROS arrested a gunman, by pinning him to the ground! In another case, an ANDROS was SHOT by a crazed gunman during negotiations inside a house. (The robot kept working.) And in Atlanta, the OlyBomb exploded too soon for ANDROS to arrive. But ANDROS did bag a bomb-look-alike hoax device (with a note attached) at an Atlanta hospital during the Olympics. And ANDROS swept planes at Atlanta’s international airport. Considering President Clinton’s call for increased security against bombing, we can expect to see more bomb handling robots in action, on the nightly news, and on the streets.

My Olympic Bombing
There I Was…at treetop level in Centennial Park, with the best view in the house, except for some branches getting in the way. I could see Jack Mack and the Heart Attack playing loud funk on my right, and could hear “Time, time, time…is on my side” on my left. making everybody a little more mellow, especially at 1 a.m. There must have been fifty thousand people in the Global Olympic City that night, a lot of them families. Why would people keep their tiny kids up this late? To the left, Cuban and Argentinian teams are swaying back and forth, looking at the band like almost everyone else, often hooting, chattering and laughing amongst themselves at some observation about American women’s fashions.

At the bottom of a light and sound tower, on a park bench, two heavy-set security cops seem to be more concentrated than I like cops to be. One is peering inside a green knapsack (my heart skips a beat), while the other is quickly but politely asking people to move away. He’s waving his arms to say “Get Back!” to those who can’t hear his shouts above the music. The knapsack cop now fumbles with his mike, draws a deep breath and speaks some measured words into his radio. They both are moving outward from what I hope is simply a suspicious package. But they are moving too quickly, not lazily like bored cops going through the minimum motions of proper police procedure. Each one is hyper-aware, eyes, hips and hands locked in a hesitant five-steps-left, six-steps-right, one-step forward tango as they wave back the crowd. Some folks don’t notice, pierce the invisible police line, and five sit down on the bench next to the knapsack. The cops suddenly run back to the bench and order the people away, but not too politely this time. The crowd is sucked back into the vacuum toward the bench. One of the cops is visibly sweating, now. Their urgency triples, and they begin again to move the people back as other security forces converge and join the frayed invisible police line. Some are in Air Force berets, some in Army camo BDUs, some in Georgia white shirts. Only one has a side-arm. They have never met, have never worked together, but somehow they coordinate perfectly. No chiefs, no Indians, no cop egos. Just a shared and immediate need to move the crowd back without panicking it. My wife is wondering what I’m staring at: I haven’t blinked in two minutes.

I hear a whir and whiz from high torque electric and pneumatic motors behind me. At the walking entrance to the park a buffalump rises up to full mastadon height, its six legs shuffling slowly in an unfamiliar kind of elephant step. Infra-red rings surrounding each leg, feeler wires in each foot, and four video cameras at each rump search for walking obstructions, especially kids and dogs, near the intended footsteps. The buffalump aims toward the sound and light tower. There is a muffled voice coming from the unidirectional horn in the front of it’s buffalo-like head, saying something unintelligible. When the head turns toward me, I’m startled by the booming volume, “Stand back! Watch your children. Zurucktretten! Achtung auf Ihre Kinder.” The crowd parts rather quickly, and the buffalump gains speed. I’ve seen them hit 100kph on the open road on a National Geographic holo-vid before. This one only trots at walking speed, though, since the crowd is so dense and so near. The crowd only half pays attention. Cool aren’t they? Wow, imagine riding one. Ha Ha. But you can’t ride one. The buffalump’s hide is slicker than teflon, and the “skin folds” ripple like a snake’s slithering belly to discourage you from trying. You can’t run under one, either, because the hide droops almost all the way to the ground. Within 30-seconds, the buffalump passes me and slows to a stroll. I’m thinking how silent its footsteps are, how lightly each foot pad touches the ground, when it enters the invisible police line.

The buffalump’s head opens up, and it places its giant walrus-like mouth over the knapsack, engulfing the package with Kevlar armored cheeks. Inside its head, it x-rays the package and makes some independent choices without waiting for the humans at the Olympic Bomb Management Center to review the transmitted images. Noting there are no cop-killer tripwires, the buffalump rips the bag with the claws inside its head (where you expect teeth to be) , then grabs it and the nail-filled tupperware with two different grippers inside of its “throat,” and passes the bomb and shrapnel separately to different portions of its “stomach.”

Surrounded now by three thousand pounds of bulletproof hide impregnated with heat-reactive foam, the bomb is placed in the “pocket,” just below the buffalump’s “blowhole.” If the bomb were to detonate now, the force of the blast would be aimed upward to the sky, with the heat of the explosion sealing the foam around it, thus lengthening the duration of the conflaguration by a few milliseconds. The bomb would fizzle, or at least blow up less forceably.

Accompanied by a whush of white noise, a United Nations hovercopter appears over my head, and two shadows quickly descend. A black package lands first, followed almost instantly by a large man in an 85-pound air-conditioned blast suit with a three-quarter inch face shield. He ignores the package, and shuffles straight to the buffalump’s rear end. He activates a hand-held box, waving it near the buffalump’s butt, and an arm sized opening appears. The technician plugs a cable into it and reviews an image on his clipboard viewscreen. He is satisfied that this is a simple pipe bomb, no booby traps, three galvanized steel pipes taped together with a kitchen timer and a few wires leading to blasting caps. Inside, the buffalump already has several tools trained on various parts of the apparatus: tele-operated wire cutters surround each wire, a water cannon is aimed at the trigger, and censored by law enforcement authorities censored by law enforcement authorities censored by law enforcement authorities censored by law enfor.

Remote-controlled robot for mobile phone security

Tmsuk Co., Ltd. ARAKOMU the security company and 22 of the robot venture, announced it had jointly developed a remote-controlled robot that can be secured in the new phone and did a press conference.

Tmsuk and ARAKOMU, March 18 fiscal year by the Ministry of Economy “business support service robot market creation,” which was adopted in the “robot development project site to check conditions for moving fast autonomous security operations,” the opportunity to do a joint development of the robot have. The new robot “T-34” is the prototype. 520 × 600mm (width × height) and weighs 12kg. Maximum speed is the speed of about 10km. Camera and a sensor, are equipped with security devices NETTORANCHA network to catch the intruder. SUKIPPUBAKKU have a record, the image sensors from a total of 10 seconds to 20 seconds can be recorded. The battery is a robot that uses a combination of nickel-hydrogen batteries and nicad.

“NETTORANCHA” security equipment is being sold as a product of Corporation. Gas will immediately set out for suspicious people in the net momentum. From a distance without touching the person suspected, and they will not use it also refers to the training. Net, that the struggle to become entangled as a suspicious MOGAKE. The price is about 2 million yen strength, and that 17,000 primary schools have more than delivered. Four years after purchase to remain. The robot is equipped with just a portion of the cartridge.T-34 is to be introduced with a single robot system without the infrastructure of the facilities, they can be controlled remotely by a mobile phone. The built-in security robots, will also be an automated response based on information from the robot’s sensors automatically. Mr. Takamoto Youiti Tmsuk president of the company in the “T-63 Artemis” Given that it has developed a robot enforcement purposes and as sophisticated and expensive, “a robot from a luxury car make, inexpensive it is more effective on each floor BARAMAITA a robot. ”

Mr. Hasegawa Kazuhiko ARAKOMU of Executive Managing Director of the “new thought and could be linked to the security guards and robots.” ARAKOMU the security company founded in 1971. 56 billion yen in sales, the industry’s 1,000 yen security companies to be positioned as mid-sized.

Building security in the report from the abnormal signals that are the first to rush a security guard, in many cases it will take time. For the unexpected happens, sometimes wrapped in smoke and flames of fire at the guards. But if the robot is near you, and environmental data to know the situation and move immediately to the scene, may take the first response. You can go to the scene soon after a security guard, depending on the situation on the ground. The robot that can be connected to improve the safety of guards.

Tmsuk on the answering machine for home robots, “robot” to development, and sales. The prototype of the “robot” that will be positioned for more of the top models. As a practical matter, 0.8 in action while watching the video from your mobile phone about a time lag of a second, aimed at stopping the right position is extremely difficult. With the large turning radius, that have large operations in places such as illegal dumping sites and the security of the outdoor events. Weapons research and development in the future, other than improved battery, and that changing the exterior design and application of NETTORANCHA located.

The 50 products to about 10,000 yen, to commercialize the end of the year if possible. Takamoto said, “not only a demonstration event and robots, we will put out a thorough search business.”
Key features of this robot-

■ sound sensor
And react to loud noise outside. Sensitivity can be set in five stages.
■ Mike
Mike will be calling for.
■ Camera Module
With tilt function, driving range is 10 ° above 70 ° lower. Swivel left and right by the robot to 360 °.
■ Camera
Using a 30 megapixel camera, vertical viewing angle of about 40 °, about 50 ° left and right.
■ LED Light

RASHIMASU forward to a bright and dark in the room when the night.
■ sensor people
5m radius to detect the movement of people coming from the infrared range. One in front, two rear.
■ Speaker
5-step volume <+4 stage mute> is adjustable.
■ The Ministry of infrared light
i used to communicate by infrared applications. You can set the robot using infrared fine. You can also operate as a remote control robot.
■ wheel drive 2 months
It is for wheeled wheel.
■ LED Illumination
That changes color depending on the mode of three-color LED illumination
■ audio output
When the robot using a video phone, connect the audio input jacks on the TV this pin.
■ Image output
When the robot using a video phone, connect to the terminal of the TV video inputs.
■ power connector
AC100V power. The outlet for your home. If you do not connect the power connector works on batteries.
■ Casters
This is training wheels.
■ go mode
When going out, “go mode” settings. Once the sensors detect abnormal robot-equipped cell phone immediately bring your hand (FOMA) and reported to you. In addition, the bedridden elderly and children, in a pinch, you can contact the mobile phone by simply pressing a set of robot FAMIRIKORUBOTAN press.
■ teleoperation mode
From outside, access to the robot, you can see the look of the room. You can easily manipulate the robot by simply pressing the buttons on your phone. Anytime, from anywhere, remote control (Go, intimidation, and conversation). But when you see how your pet is bedridden elderly and children check off the electricity in mind.
■ mode TV phone
If you connect to your home TV, you can monitor real-time TV. Using a mobile phone and TV phone, talking and watching each other, gives unlimited communication.
■ Illumination mode
Robot, and three-color LED. More luminous colors corresponding to each of the robot mode, as the interior lights,CHIMASU unique charm. The high interior is characteristic of the robot.

Parts & accessories:
■ Drive system: wheels ■ Power: AC Adapter / Ni-MH battery ■ Communication and Control: Card Type FOMA
■ Video Input: camera (tilt function)
■ output: video output, audio output
■ Others: microphone, speaker, sensor, sound sensor ■ Width: 27cm Height: 26cm Overall length: 26cm
■ Price: 294,000 yen (tax included)
■ Weight: 3.25kg

T-34 side


phone move
forward and backward

net from suspicious fire

eyes of the fire net robot

with the type of shoot. Overall length: 27cm
the same cartridge
President, Takamoto Youiti Tmsuk

Executive Managing Director Mr. Hasegawa Kazuhiko ARAKOMU


The history of ASIMO humanoid robot

Asimo presentation in Paris 2002
Following a research program initiated in 1986 with the P-0 prototype, Honda presented in 2000 -just in time for the 21st century- the Asimo humanoid robot.
Honda’s ambitions on robotics are multiple : in a country where the population grows older year by year, the problem of assisting older people in their everyday life will become more and more accurate. Robots are thought of by many as one of the ways of solving this problem. Yet the technology still has lots to prove before accessing that kind of uses…
In what sounds more like a marketting baseline, Honda mentions “the power of dreams” as one of the reasons for the existence of the Humanoid Robot project. By that we should understand : creating humanoid robots has long been a dream , and making dreams come true is Honda’s moto.
Then again, Honda also states that robots will become an important part of our life within the new century; and they will thus represent a significant market, of which Honda intends to take it’s share.

After 14 years of developments, mostly focused on the dynamics of a robotic humanoid body, Asimo is the first humanoid robot to be actually available on the market (rental only, and at a tremendeous cost too). It is said that IBM, in Japan, uses an Asimo as a host in an IBM plant lobby.

So what’s the big deal with humanoid robots?

As i’ve mentionned, humanoids robots are intended to share humans life. It is thus important for them to be able to evolve in an everyday human environment. Imagine a robot that should “live” in an appartement. If it was equiped with wheels, it would be basically able to wander around, but only until it would meet stairs or steps. Take it out of the appartement, and the same limitations would apply in an urban environment. As a matter of fact, humans have legs, and their environment is designed accordingly. This is why a robot with legs seems more adapted to sharing lifespace with humans.
The same thoughts apply to the upper structure of the robot. If you want your robot to be able to actually walk around in your appartment, it should be able to open doors. You would then have a choice : adapt your entire appartment to make your robot able to open adapted doors by the use of a specific system; or include in your robot design some kind of device that would deal with common doors. If you do that, you may want to also equip your robot with devices that could take/move/transport objects. Also, it could be useful that your robot would be able to push buttons. Again, the human environment is adapted to human bodies, and human have arms and hands. So should your robot too.

Click here to view Asimo walking down a stair (2.66Mo AVI video)

Another important issue about designing a humanoid robot is the social interactions with humans. Many research projects around the world focus on that question : what will make a robot socially acceptable in a human surrounding?
Some projects, like Sony’s world famous Aibo robot dog and Asimo use the following approach : it is important not to disguise Artificial Intelligence into what it is not. It is thus important to give the robot an external appearance that would fit it’s actual potential. In human interactions, people usually expect different kind of response from different kind of interactors. Interacting with the surrounding world, one will not expect the same kind of response from a dog, a business man in suit, a vending machine or a child. The robot has the potential ability to adopt any of those outfits. In order to have the robot accepted in the everyday life of a human, the robot design should be carefully designed accordingly to it’s actual potential, it’s goal and it’s environment.

Asimo is not a toy, and it is not an actual human. It’s body is the size of a small adult and it’s appearance is sober and soft, yet functionnal. It’s “face” is both robotic (as the helmet suggests) and familiar, with the symbolics of the big round eyes suggesting that the robot is like a child that has to learn it’s environment.

If the first version of Asimo was basically a smaller-sized version of the earlier P-2 and P-3 robots; Honda now focus on breathing artificial intelligence into the newer versions.
The first evolution is the “i-Walk” technology. Whereas it used to be remote-controlled, Asimo’s walking technology is now able of anticipating the robot’s next moves, thus controlling the walking systems in a much more “natural” way. AI systems also include image and voice recognition (asimo is able to turn to someone who speaks to it, and recognize the person. It will also recognize certain gestures). Asimo will obei to several orders : ordering “come here” while pointing to a location will make Asimo move to the designated location and turn to the person who ordered it.