Custom Design and Engineering

Updated 5/26/08

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.







The Machine Lab team custom designed and fabricated this heavy duty tracked platform for the Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. The robot system was to have a mast with a sensor suite to take geological data on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The extreme temperatures called for stainless steel tracks and weatherproofing. The platform itself weighed in at 147 pounds and was designed to carry and additional 100 pounds of payload. The platform proved to carry 190 pounds of payload on concrete with no problem.


Weight: 147 pounds

Size: 44"L x 34"W x 7.5"H

Speed: 3.5 ft./sec.

24V  drive with two Magmotor gearhead motors each with 600 in-lb of torque at 116 RPM




West Covina S.W.A.T. Robot


Mobile Telepresence

TV Bot


Collaborative Project with Christian Ristow

 Large performance robot for the Sci-Fi Channel


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.