Los Alamos Lab to host Robot Rodeo

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Hazardous devices teams from around the Southwest will wrangle their bomb squad robots at the sixth annual Robot Rodeo beginning Tuesday at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The rodeo gets under way at 8 a.m. in Technical Area 49, a remote section of laboratory property near the entrance to Bandelier National Monument. Eight teams are scheduled to participate in the three-day competition.

“The Robot Rodeo gives bomb squad teams the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in a lively but low-risk setting,” said Chris Ory of LANL’s Emergency Response Group and a member of the lab’s hazardous devices team.

Teams compete in events and simulations, such as

  •  removing bombs from the inside of aircraft
  •  rescuing injured first responders
  •  navigating obstacle courses
  •  responding to a roadside bombing
  •  operating in smoke-filled buildings
  •  troubleshooting equipment problems 
  •  attacking and rendering safe large vehicle bombs
  • dealing with suicide bombers.

The laboratory — along with Sandia National Laboratories, the Region II International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, REMOTEC, U.S. Technical Working Group and QinetiQ — sponsor the Robot Rodeo.