The OCU Pros Report Vol. 21                                                              December 2011

Days of Future Past                                                  

As the 2011 draws back to a close, we can reflect on the big robot stories of the last year. The use of robots (or more precisely the lack of robots) at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactor was one of the most important.


AMREL’s corporate blog has a recent update on Where are the Japanese Robots? Much of the update concerns a highly informative blog by the robot operator at the damaged plant. For reasons unknown, the Japanese blog has disappeared, but IEEE Spectrum has posted translations on their website. If you are interested in UGV performance in an extremely hazardous environment, this is a must read. BTW, the IEEE Spectrum posting has a photo of a bunch of guys in hazmat suits crowded around an AMREL laptop, being used as an OCU.


Speaking of the past, Slate’s Future Tense published a brief study that analyzes anti-robot hysteria in the 1930s. Fear of killer robots did not begin with Arnold. 


Of course, the end of one year is the beginning of another, so it is appropriate to start thinking about the future.  What will the future look like? Will robots have legs or wheels? Are we going to build robots that are adapted to human environment or change our environment to suit the needs of machines? AMREL’s corporate blog takes a look at this issue in “Walk n’ Roll.”


Sometimes, stories that were overlooked at the time can have a huge impact for the future. Two such stories are the Navy’s efforts to test a carrier-based landing system for UCAVs and a project to develop automatic in-flight refueling for UAVs.  If these programs are successful, not only will UAVs be able to land anywhere and go any distance, but also manned flight capabilities will be expanded. As the writer over at notes about the carrier landing, “This is really a big deal…”


For some of us, the most important question about the future is, “What gifts am I going to buy for Christmas?”  The Robot Report runs its annual list of robotic-themed gifts. Another idea comes from a start-up called Romotive. While many people have explored ways of using a smartphone as an OCU for robots, these guys are transforming the smartphone into a robot. Since smartphones are really little computers, this approach has a certain logic to it.


Hope all your holiday robots are fun ones!


See you in 2012!


The Fukushima Robot Diaries



Don’t try this at home.


Full article here


1930’s Anti-Robot Hysteria


When robots are outlawed, only outlaws will be robotic.


Full article here


Walk n’ Roll


Who will be our robotic overlords,

C3PO or R2D2?



Full article here



The Smartphone Robot


“Honey have you seen my smartphone? It was rolling around here somewhere.”


Full article here



Happy Holidays from AMREL & the OCU Pros




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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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