The OCU Pros Report Vol. 20                                                              November 2011

I like to watch                                                         

At this time of year, it is customary to think about things that we are thankful for.  One of the things that I am thankful for is that I get to watch cool robot videos for my job.  The theme of November’s OCU Pros is videos. correctly describes Mesa’s ACER’s UGV as “ginormous.”  This impressive unmanned “mini-tank” uses an AMREL OCU as does iRobot’s User Assist Package.  The latter has some intresting semi-autonomous and situational awareness capabilities.  Links to both videos are below.


Ever since I saw Kermit riding a bicycle in the first Muppet movie, I’ve been a fan of automatons on bikes.  However, even I am unable to explain the popularity of the video of the PRIMER-V2 robot (“The Biped robot which rides on a bicycle”). It even inspired someone to do version with a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. It’s not like it’s the first Japanese bicycle-riding robot.  Six years ago, we got to see videos of the “Murata Boy.”  Check out the links below.


The good people at Boston Dynamics have a tradition of building anatomically-inspired robots that move in such a life-like way that they are vaguely disturbing.  You have probably all seen the videos of the Big Dog.  Now, you can watch a video of the incredibly stable two-legged PETMAN.  


For those of you who insist on reading (which is so 20th century), we have a few articles that feature videos. IEEE Spectrum does a good job of describing Google’s famous self-driving cars.  For a project that was cloaked in such secrecy, Google is being pretty transparent about it, as evidenced by the videos of lectures at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. 


If robots do take over the world, they may be too small to notice.  Scientific American showcases microbots that are smaller than a pinhead, but can build visible lattices and other structures.


Finally, Popular Science focuses on the “foambot,” which creates its own form factor. Increasing the adaptability of the robot’s shape should help answer the age-old question of whether robots should be built for single or multiple missions.


See you next month!




  • ACER Multi-mission
  • iRobot User Assist Package
  • “The Biped robot which rides a bicycle” 
  • “Murata Boy, the Robot that can Ride Bicycles”
  • PETMAN Prototype

Watch videos here



How Google’s Self-Driving Car Works


Important implications for autonomy & situational awareness


Full article here


Tiny Toilers: Precision-Controlled Microbots


Microbots take on industrial-scale jobs


Full article here




Popular Science says “… this kind of concept is still taking form. Now we just have to wait for it to solidify.”


Full article here





Everyone at AMREL & the OCU Pros wishes you a happy and joyous Thanksgiving



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American Reliance Inc. (AMREL) designs and manufactures small-footprint, highly integrated, rugged mobile computing solutions for OCUs. Our modular single solution approach minimizes peripheral devices, the total cost, as well as space and weight requirements. Quickly and easily modified, a single OCU can command and control a wide array of Unmanned Systems.


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