Saurobot is the
first combat robot ever made that is powered by LabVIEW. The
LabVIEW data acquisition and control software package is intended to
give Saurobot an on-board intelligence advantage over they more typical
combat robot. The primary advantage it will provide is in the
implementation of a tornado drive. A tornado drive (aka cyclone
drive or melty brain) allows a spinning robot to translate while it
spins. A two-wheeled spinning thwack-bot is a common design with
great defensive capabilities, but with its offensive capacity limited
by the fact that it cannot translate and chase an opponent while it is
spinning. A tornado drive eliminates this weakness.
Botlabs is currently in the process of designing and re-building its
combat robot. Previously code named ANK1, this remote-controlled
robot is now known as Saurobot. It first competed in MechWar7 in
October, 2003. Based on that experience, it is now being rebuilt
with a more robust mechanical design, improved speed and performance,
and a smaller, more powerful control system.
Saurobot competed for its first time at MechWar 7 in St. Paul,
MN. Highlights are now available.
of Saurobot I in its
preliminary form are now posted. A
short video demonstrating the tornado drive is also available on that
Additional pictures from Saurobot I's
demonstrations at NIWeek 2003 are also available, as are pictures
from a recent demonstration at a local
A schedule of
past and future events in which Saurobot did/will participate is
A paper describing the technical aspects of the
computer control system hardware and software is available on the Original Code web site on the
The members of the BotLabs team are:
- David Thomson - BotLabs Project Coordinator and Software
Developer - As a Research Scientist at the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, David has
worked on the development of autonomous, airborne instrumentation,
including the Particle
by Laser Mass Spectrometry instrument. In addition to working
at NOAA, David is also the principle of Original Code Consulting, a
firm that provides data acquisition systems programmed in LabVIEW.
- Daniel Cziczo - Dan is a Research Scientist at the NOAA Aeronomy Lab, where he studies
the properties of atmospheric particles.
- Steve Ciciora - A EE at the NOAA Aeronomy Lab, Steve will be
designing the electronics for the bot as well as helping design and
build the overall electrical and mechanical systems.
- Eric Kihn - A physicist at the National Geophysical Data Center
at NOAA, Eric is helping with the construction and testing of the robot.
- Mark Stangl - Mark is a PE as well as a National Instrument
Alliance Member. He will be helping with system design review and
- Ed McConnell - Ed is the local sales rep for National
and is interested in assisting with the software design.
- Lloyd Brady - Lloyd is the Botlabs liason for Productive Computer
- Shawn Liu - Shawn is a Real Time Product Manager at National Instruments, and is the National
Instruments liason for BotLabs.
Team members Dan Cziczo, Dave Thomson, Mark Stangl, and Steve Ciciora
are shown above.
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