Yearly Archive:2014


Robolit will be at IAAPA

Robolit will be attending International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo 2014 in Orlando, FL. IAAPA represents over 4300 amusement industry members, located in over 97 countries worldwide spanning fields such as Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Family Entertainment Centers (FEC’s), Arcades, Museums, Water parks, Aquariums, Science Centers, Zoos, Resorts and Casinos, along with many leading industry Equipment Manufacturers, Distributors and Operators, and various industry Suppliers and Service Providers.

At this event Robolit will be investigating opportunities and strategic partnerships for robotic technologies and know-how gathered in our core competency field of search and rescue robotics. We strongly believe that deeply interactive and physical theme park systems can be brought to life employing sensing and actuation capabilities developed in the US&R robotics field.


San Diego regional training exercise conducted

San Diego bomb squads asked for a robot training facility to be set up at a local Fire department training base with the purpose of training bomb technicians to become better robot operators. The design and implementation of the test facility was done by NIST in collaboration with Robolit LLC. The Facility was set up on 11/10/14 and used throughout the following week.

Robolit LLC assisted in the training exercises through administering and recording tests performed for data collection. During the time of the event multiple local bomb squads were introduced to and practiced on the test apparatuses built and shipped by Tyndall Air Force Base.

The facility is to be used actively by both new and experienced bomb technicians. They were trained on how to administer their own tests so that the facility can continue to operate without the assistance of NIST or Robolit LLC.


RRSS 2014 workshop in Perth, AU has started

IEEE Rescue Robotics Summer School Workshop 2014 has started in Curtin University. Co-organized by Robolit and Curtin University and supported by IEEE-RAS, NIST and RoboCup Rescue League, RRSS’14 continues the tradition of offering a week long hacking and exchange environment among researchers, corporations and first responders. In this year’s event we host local K-12 educators to introduce them to discuss and develop ways in which concepts from rescue robotics can be used in education. Our brand new RoboCup Confined Space 3-D Printed Robot League will also be demonstrated at the event.


DRC Training Stage setup is constructed

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was created to encourage robot companies to think of innovative designs for robots that could respond to disastrous situations that responders could not. As part of the NIST team, Robolit, continues to contribute to the DRC test site design effort.

The DRC stage is set up to be a repeatable, reproducible test method that mimics the environment of a building/factory that has been hit by an earthquake. The tasks performed on this stage include turning a valve, traversing difficult terrain, climbing a set of stairs, opening a door, cutting through a wall and driving a vehicle. All of these tasks force robot companies to consider the real application of their design and how it could be improved upon to better assist in a real earthquake disaster.

The trial stage set up by Robolit and NIST in Charleston was designed to allow companies to come and practice DRC tasks before the final event that will be held in Pamona, CA.


Bomb Squad Commanders Meeting 2014.08 is held

The Bomb Squad Commanders Meeting brought together various bomb squads, robot developers, and the NIST team to collaborate in expanding each other’s reach. This event was held from the 25th to the 29th of August. The purpose was to show bomb squads the importance of needing the “Standard Robot Test Methods” to score/train themselves to be better bomb technicians as well as introduce them to the various robots they may want to use during real world scenarios.

Robolit was tasked with the design and layout of the test methods to be shown as well as assisting in the fabrication and set-up of the event. Robolit was also asked to capture and record various robot tests through video and through data collection.

The event proved to be very successful in that a large percentage of bomb squads were responding with the desire to implement NIST’s robot test methods in their facilities. The overall goal was to create more applicable robots to real disasters by collecting the feedback of the bomb squads and adjusting the test methods to fit the issues they are running into most often in real scenarios.


RoboCup WorldCup 2014 is held in Brasil

The RoboCup 2014 Finals was held in Joao Pessoa Brazil from July 21st to July 25th of 2014. This event brought together robotics leagues from around the world in a competition to determine the best team for the league they participated in. Each league had a number of participating teams at the college level. The event was designed to promote technological progress in the field of robotics by displaying first hand what designs were performing in what skill level.

Robolit participated in the design and implementation of the “Rescue Robot League”. This league created a disaster like scenario where robot teams scored points based on the number of “victims” they could find and identify. A referee and a judge ran the competition, at least one of which was provided by Robolit.


ASTM E54.08 Homeland Security, Robotics Meeting is completed!

The biannual ASTM E54.08 Homeland Security, Operational Equipment, Robotics meeting was held at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg from May 28-30, 2014. The event brought together a rich collection of individuals from first responder community, robot vendors and standards administrators.

Robolit made two presentations at the event. Our team introduced a new robot design representation procedure to be adopted by the cache packaging standard. Robolit is tasked with the development of an extensible relational database and access interface for the standard test data. We demonstrated the very initial prototype on an online access interface and a database engine implementation.


US Science and Technology Festival is completed.

As part of the NIST team Robolit participated the US Science and Technology Festival held in Washington, DC from April 26-28. This wonderful event aims to improve the science, engineering and technology education (STEM) in K-12 system. There was a huge attendance including defense contractors, government institutions, universities, high school, small businesses, and more. Various key technologies that will pave the way towards a more flexible educational infrastructure were represented. The most noteworthy presentations were by the 3D printer companies.

With the NIST team we dabuted the mini-arena (a.k.a. confined space tests)—a small scale version of standard test methods developed in the ASTM E54.08 Subcommittee. This setup combined with our group’s recent work on 3D printable robot kit we believe the mini-arena will establish an exciting new experimentation and learning environment for young roboticists with direct association with the RoboCup Rescue League and the NIST Standard Test Methods work.


Koblenz Robot Test Facility is updated

Following RoboCup German Open, Robolit and NIST updated the robot testing facility in Koblenz Germany with the latest version of a “training set” designed to help robot operators score and practice against themselves to improve performance. While we recorded the scores of an expert operator to compare against operators in training.


RoboCup Rescue League German Open has started

The German Open for RoboCup was held in Magdeburg Germany from April 1st to April 6th of 2014. The event was designed to allow college and high school level robotics teams to practice as well as earn their place at the RoboCup finals held later in 2014. The event consists of various leagues spanning simulation soccer competitions to legged full size robot games.

Our focus is on the Rescue League which aims to foster innovation in search and rescue robotics. Robolit along side of NIST participated in the design, set-up, and administration for the RoboCup German Open Rescue League. Tasked primarily with judging during the students runs.