IronMan Revisited
more development of the design

T   
last design for a one wheel robotic device, after due consideration, seems to be eminently workable. I think this could be made to work most effectively for short range - short duration urban incursions.

Limitations of the device

    This robot should be ...
  • as light as possible so that it will move quickly
    (as fast as a man running and darting this way and that).
  • robust enough to withstand a hand grenade at close quarters
  • quicker on the draw than a man
  • able to stay in the field for at least 60 minutes
  • able to knock down barracaded doors and climb steps
    and run over loose rubble
  • cheap to mass produce

One of the main problems with this gizmo is that due to the rotation of the earth it would be out of vertical by 15o every hour. Since I require at least 60 minutes of use before returning to "port", the stabilizing gyro must have a compensating mechanism so that even though the gyro tilts 15o, the robot stays perfectly upright. It could be built with a compensating gyro but this would add to the cost and weight so I think a better solution is just to allow drift at a slow computer-controlled rate. In other words, every few minutes the system would correct its trim with servo-hydraulic actuators. Then the system would lock tight again.

ironman2.gif - 7kb Excessive turning in one direction would eventually cause the turning gyro to "go flat". However, presumably one would go left as much as right in most situations and this would restore the turning gyro to trim. Under no circumstances could it be made to go round & round in circles as this would soon cause it to be unsteerable.

Returning to port would consist of revving up the gyros once again, resetting the trim, reconfiguring the "hat" (the chosen firing mechanism), and reloading ammo if necessary.

This bot wears many hats

The gun turret may be replaced quickly with other WMDs (weapons of minimal distruction). Since this bot is for urban warfare, we need weapons that don't kill if that is required. Certainly one could fit a machine gun nicely. But suppose the enemy is holed up with hostages ... what to do?

We could fit it with stun grenades, taser, light blinders, sound weapons, paint balls, skunk juice, tear gas or any other imaginable means of immobilization. I'm thinking of a BB rail gun ... a machine gun for BB shot that could rip off hundreds of rounds per second at less than lethal velocities. Since a rail gun can be made to vary velocity, that setting could be chosen on the fly.

Another possibility is to use air as the projectile. That way you'd never run out of ammo and as my design indicates the velocity could be varied from lethal to non-lethal on the fly. [Below is rollover image]

This air gun relies on a metallic plug which is electro-magnetically propelled around the ring to high velocity pushing air in front of it. When the desired velocity is attained, a slit opens through which the air can escape (but not the plug). Centrifugal force throws the air down the eject tube and out into the environment at high velocity. I believe this could be made to kill or injure ... or ... just knock the shit out of somebody.

Targeting ...

To make this work, targets must be acquired, verified and eliminated faster than a human can normally respond. Yet, a human must evaluate the target ... and ... that judgment must re-evaluated to make sure that no mistake is made. This requires some group effort combined with computer control.

On the sides of the bot there must be multiple observation ports so that a distant operator can see what is going on all about the room that has been entered. Let us say that there are four operators each of whom sees an over-lapping 100o. With each operator is another doing the same thing so that there are eight operators all together. On the computer console of each is a touch screen. When the operator sees an enemy he touches the screen there. If and only if both operators touch the screen within a certain number of degrees separation ... then and only then will the computer order the bot to fire at a point midway between the two points touched on the screen by the operators.

The same is true for all other quadrants. The bot is so fast that all the enemies selected are zapped in one second. Zap, zap, zap, zap ... gone. An operator may touch the screen at more than one position if there are multiple targets. Presumably, beforehand the operators would agree to touch the screen on the head for instance so that everybody could be taken out with a head shot. Or they might agree to a right shoulder in less heated encounters, etc. Practice makes perfect. They don't fire the weapon ... they just direct the fire because human responses are too slow.

Other accouterments

We need some little doors on this bot which open and a little hand comes out and sticks some "plastique" on the door and "kaboom" ... it's open sessa me

The wheels must be cogged in such a way as to allow it to ascend stairs. Remember this bot can't fall over because of the gyro so the only problem with stairs is grip.

The bot is driven by two drivers ... one steers while the other looks all round. There may be a third finding routes on street maps, etc.

There must be a self-destruct mechanism which will destroy classified innards if the bot is disabled. So if the bot isn't heard of in say 1 hour, it self-destructs with a muffled hmmmph sound harming no one but itself.

We need a strong signal antenna. The only thing that would stop this is loss of signal. We can't have it dragging wires (which can be cut) behind its ass.

Ironman must also take a dump now and then ...

airgun.gif - 18kb

A grenade dump ... Arrrrghhhh



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