On the 16th of October 2019, the Australian Federal Police Bomb Response unit was called to the premises of SFX. Fortunately, it wasn’t because there was a threat of a LiPo fire (this time), but they were there to let us play around with get inspiration from some of their robots.
The Bomb Response unit brought three of their robots for us to look at which were all quite impressive and we all got an opportunity to drive each of them.
The first robot they showcased for us was their strongest and biggest robot which I call the Big Rig.
The Big Rig’s claw is strong enough to rip doors right of their hinges and weighs an estimated amount of 300 kg, a very powerful robot indeed. The control panel has 2 joysticks, one for the tracks of the robot and the other for the arm, on the control panel is an image of the robot with a bunch of buttons on various different parts of the robot, which when pressed, control that section of the robot. This intuitive design made it very easy to control this powerful machine.
The next robot they showed us was a little smaller but equally as impressive.
This robot could maneuver over any terrain and around any object, the arm had a nifty function where by holding a button on the control panel the arm would move but keep the claw level making it possible to carry a container full of liquid if necessary. The control panel had 4 joysticks that were controlled with the thumbs and index fingers of each hand making it possible to use 4 different features of the robot at once. The control panel also had an extra button that when held, allowed for special functions such as moving into special positions and keeping the claw level.
The final robot the showed us was their oldest one that truly had stood the test of time.
This robot, although not as strong or as maneuverable as the other robots, was still something to aspire to and was remarkably similar in design to our Mark IV. In the picture above, you can see me attempting to unlock the bin, which was a challenging task that I unfortunately did not succeed in, but I gave it my best shot. This control panel was different to the other 2 control panels because it had individual controls for each component, which made it quicker and easier to complete tasks.
While I was driving all the robots and experimenting with all their cool features, other members of the team were asking the Australian Federal Police officers questions about their robots and showing off the S.A.R.T robot.
All in all, it was a fun and interesting experience for everyone at S.A.R.T.