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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Reconnaissance Robot

ST. LOUIS, April 23, 2007 - Boeing and iRobot Corp. today announced they have signed a teaming agreement to design and develop a next-generation, small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) called the SUGV Early. The vehicle will provide military, civil and commercial users with unprecedented reconnaissance and secure, real-time intelligence capabilities.

The SUGV Early will be a smaller, lighter version of the iRobot PackBot, which is used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to safely disarm Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and search buildings, caves and tunnels for hostile forces. To date, iRobot has delivered more than 900 PackBot robots to a broad range of military and civilian customers worldwide.

The robots have performed tens of thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are credited with saving soldiers' lives.

The remotely operated and highly maneuverable SUGV Early will feature a video camera and commercial electro-optics, infrared sensors mounted on an articulated manipulator arm and a track-driven chassis that will allow it to negotiate rough terrain and stairs. The 30-pound backpackable unit is designed for use in a wide range of hazardous situations, such as bomb disposal and disaster relief operations.

The system, which utilizes commercial off-the-shelf technology and employs the basic design of future networked robotic systems currently under development for the U.S. Army, will be ready for delivery in 2008.

Under the agreement, Boeing will provide expertise in systems integration, large volume production and global marketing, while iRobot will design, develop and manufacture the robots. Boeing and iRobot will jointly offer these commercial robots to all U.S. Department of Defense, civil and international markets.

iRobot is a provider of robots that perform dull, dirty or dangerous missions in a better way. The company's proprietary technology, iRobot AWARE Robot Intelligence Systems, incorporates advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. This proprietary system enables iRobot to build behavior-based robots, including its family of consumer and military robots.

For additional information about iRobot, please visit their website.

That's not to be confused with the movie I, Robot...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Something new...

It's called the "Spyder Roadster" and is manufactured by Can-Am, a division of Bombardier Recreational Products...better known for personal watercraft (A.K.A. "jet-skis") and snowmobiles.

Here's the website.

In a reversal from the typical "trike" arrangement, rather than having two wheels in back and one in front, these are t'other way around.

It's an interesting concept, and is stabilized around corners and such by computer-aided technology.

I think I'd be more inclined to get a conventional trike if I was to get one at all, or perhaps the old "tried and true" sidecar rig.

But like other alternative vehicle concepts I've posted about, the "Roadster" is neat to look at, if nothing else...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Scrapple is a tasty, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast food. Slice thin, fry or broil it. In Southeastern Pennsylvania, where I come from, it's a local favorite. It is made up of 50% cornmeal and 50% pork "products"...including, as it's said: "everything but the oink".
(We try not to dwell on that o'ermuch)

I bring it up because of the website that got me into this whole "blogosphere" scene in the first place, which is ScrappleFace.

A number of the "regulars" had been discussing some type of get-together for quite a while, so a few of us actually went ahead and started organizing one, which I've been tentatively calling "ScrappleFest".

Anyway, Western Pennsylvania seems to be relatively central to many of the "Scrapplers", so during Labor Day Weekend a bunch of us will converge there.

It ought to be an interesting gathering...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

OK, I'm back...

...big deal, right?

I don't like the "new" blogger...at all.

However, beggars can't be choosers.

Well, actually, they can when it comes to free blog hosting services.

I have been mulling over going with one of the other free ones, but as with most folks, I am basically ruled by inertia.
(A body at rest tends to remain so)

Besides, I've basically been working 7 days per week since I got back from my last vacation, and haven't felt much like doing anything extra. Like adding new posts to my blog, for example, which also required converting over to the new format upon my return.

Some of my work has been voluntary, but work is work is...you get the picture.

Anyway, for the time being at least, I have been "assimilated by The Borg" as it were. Resistance is futile. Didn't you know?!

I'm not sure when I'll post anything of substance here, but then, if you ask the "troll" types I never really have anyhow.

Ciao, for now...

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