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One of the projects that we completed was a custom tracked platform for a research company in the UK. This machine was to be controlled autonomously by an on board laptop via USB while giving an operator the ability to regain manual control of the robot at any time.

The mobile platform was outfitted with custom dual pan/tilt mechanisms for multiple sensors and cameras. The platform also has a modular prototyping deck for electronics and the laptop.

Our engineers wrote the code and designed the electronics for the dual control system. All electrical components were sealed in waterproof housings and the robot was equipped with enough battery capacity to run for 4 hours continuously.

This custom robot platform was engineered to carry a mechanized debris clearing blower which cleans residential and commercial building rooftops. The robot is remotely operated and has a wireless video feed from a forward facing pan/tilt camera as well as a rear facing camera.

One of our MMP-40X-HD Tactical robots was used in the NBC television show State of Affairs as a bomb robot that is used to search a building for explosives. It appears in Season 1, episode 10 titled "The War at Home."

A custom long range MMP-15 was built for McAllen Police Department in Texas.

TML built several mobile robot platforms for a TV network in the UK that used them to film penguins in the arctic. These robots were modified to endure cold weather, harsh conditions and operate for extended amounts of time on a single charge.

Here is just one of the custom jobs completed by TML's prototyping lab. This tactical robot was specifically built for the West Covina SWAT team in Southern California. The robot has a 5 axis telescoping arm that can extend over 4 feet from its original length. The arm can lift 15 pounds fully extended and can reach a total height of almost 6 feet. The gripper is accompanied by a 220X Zoom/Pan/Tilt camera as well as a wide angle gripper-focused camera and a retrieval hook. There are several detachable tools that can be either be grasped by the gripper or manually attached in a matter of seconds.

The custom Operator Control Unit has true hot swappable batteries, a built in battery charger, 2-way audio with blue-tooth headset, 4-camera quadplexing and dual 3-axis joysticks for arm control. This allows the operator to precisely control all of the arm joints simultaneously. This robot can climb stairs as well as see over a privacy fence. It weighs in at only 125 pounds and has a speed of 3.5 ft/sec. It has a run time of approximately 4 hours depending on mission profile and can be deployed in less than 1 minute.

Northern Colorado Bomb Squad robot for carrying hazardous gas sensors. Features include 8 foot telescoping surveillance mast, thermal, 200X zoom and IR cameras, 2-way audio, remote release trailer and custom operator control unit.

Typhoon 9000 is a 1200 pound brush clearing robot for reducing vegetation down to 2 inches height in active minefields. Features include 2500 RPM 8 hp electric flail cutter/mulcher attachment, 4 camera drive system, hybrid gasoline/electric power system and low ground pressure track drive.

This MMP-40X custom tactical robot system was fabricated for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in the state of Washington. Some of the unique features include dual pan/tilt cameras in the front and rear, and a remotely detachable trailer for carrying additional surveillance equipment or negotiations supplies.

For demos or refferals:

The Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada commissioned The Machine Lab, Inc. to design and build a custom research robot for their AR2S robotics laboratory.

This robot has many features that give it the ability to sense its environment and interact with it. Some of the exceptional feature that it has are as follows:

  • Pan/Tilt/Tilt Mechanism for 260X Zoom camera and S3000 SICK Laser Scanner. The pan axis as well as the two separate Tilt axis have position feedback. There is also an array of 6 ultra bright white LEDs for proportional dimmable illumination.
  • A six axis manipulator arm with feedback sensors on all axis of motion including pressure feedback sensors on the gripper pads. This arm can lift 15 pounds at a full extension of 48 inches. The arm can lift 35 pounds in retracted positions.
  • We designed a custom wireless (OCU) Operator Control Unit that allows an operator to control all axis of the robot remotely with color video and audio.
  • The OCU has an interrupt switch that allows the operator to switch between wireless control and RS-232 computer control by an on-board PC. This will equip the robot with the ability to operate autonomously or semi-autonomously at any time.

The Machine Lab designed and fabricated 3 custom EOD robots for US soldiers in Iraq. The need for the machines was dire and we completed the design, build and testing in 4 months. The robots are still in action and helping save lives.

Click here for specs on the two different types of machines that were constructed.


This project started out as a high school attempt at designing a Tactical robot for the West Covina S.W.A.T. Team in Southern California. Officer Brian Prizzi of the W.C.P.D. approached the class with the idea and then proceeded to solicit money and parts for the robot. The Machine Lab was asked to help the high school students design this machine to aid in tactical operations such as surveillance, inspection, negotiations, equipment/food delivery and object retrieval/disposal.

This was an incredibly ambitious project for the High School and they ended up with a lack of time and resources to effectively finish the project. Upon this realization, officer Prizzi asked The Machine Lab to finish the machine to its fullest potential while considering its "shoe-string" budget.

So, we accepted the challenge of finishing the design of the drive train, arm mechanics, and electrical control of 14 different functions. The robot is battery powered and operated via. a wireless controller.

The robot can climb curbs, peek into windows, open doors, see in total darkness, manipulate suspicious objects and carry a payload.

The West Covina Police Department immediately realized the potential of such a versatile tool and has already incorporated the robot into its training exercises.

The Robot was named BULLDOG after the West Covina High School's mascot. Hopefully Bulldog will give the W.C.P.D. the ability to carry out its missions more efficiently and more safely.

Here is a copy of the Press Release.

BULLDOG Tactical Robot Specs.
Power: 24 Volt Gel Lead Acid Batteries (2 hours run time)
Weight: 150 lbs
Speed: 6 ft/sec.
Vision: 1 Color 200X Zoom Pan/Tilt Camera

1 Color/B&W Infrared camera

Audio is also transmitted to operator via Microphone

Arm: Shoulder 120 degrees Elbow 180 degrees Wrist UP/DOWN 180 degrees Wrist rotate 270 degrees Gripper open/close

Reach of 40 inches

Can lift 50 pounds retracted

Can lift 15 pounds fully extended

Can open doors

Scissor Lift: 30 inches of lift for Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera
Lights: 2 x 40 watt halogen flood lights

Mobile Robots in the Desert

This is the MMP-8 robot platform outfitted with a small color camera with a wide angle lens. The video and audio are transmitted via a 900 MHz FM transmitter. The signal is received by a mobile receiver unit with a 6 inch LCD screen. The system has a 2 mile line of sight range. These photos were taken during surveillance mobility tests to see how the passive suspension would affect the camera stability. The results were good but we are now working on a gyro-stabilized camera gimble that will fully stabilize the video image against bumps and vibration. We are also adding and infrared illumination option for video surveillance in total darkness.

Click here for a video of the mobility tests.

We will soon post some video footage of surveillance in an urban environment with cuts of the robots point of view.