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Robots Rumble

June 20, 2013
  • In previous rodeos, teams competed in simulations that included a tornado-damaged nuclear reactor scenario. Operators were tasked with quickly locating and moving simulated fuel rods, stopping the flow of radioactive water from running into a storm drain system and minimizing radioactive contamination on the robot.
     In previous rodeos, teams competed in simulations that included a tornado-damaged nuclear reactor scenario. Operators were tasked with quickly locating and moving simulated fuel rods, stopping the flow of radioactive water from running into a storm drain system and minimizing radioactive contamination on the robot.

Civilian and military bomb squad teams from across the country are participating in the 7th Annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise this week. Hosted by Sandia National Laboratories, the event pits these experts against each other to determine who can most effectively defuse dangerous situations with the help of robots.

The rodeo and exercise comprises 10 events that enable the teams to practice using robots and new technology in a low-risk but competitive environment. In previous events, one scenario included identifying, locating and disposing of suspected hazardous material stored in a residential garage and moving simulated fuel rods from a nuclear reactor damaged by a tornado.

This year’s competitors include local and state law enforcement departments from a number of U.S. cities as well as the Kirtland Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
 

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