Dragon Runner Shows Up At Wedding As Ring Bearer

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My wife Ann and I gave away our daughter Laura this past weekend. It was actually a good thing because we now have a new son-in-law, Alex Cressman. The wedding was wonderful with lots of fun twists but I thought you might like to hear about one of them.

Laura works for Qinetiq as a mechanical engineer and designed the robotic arm on the Dragon Runner unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). I have written about it before (see Looking For Innovation? It’s At AUVSI). The 10 pound version flies (when tossed without the arm) rather nicely. It is more likely to be found in the battlefield removing bombs.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope", last minute tips from my wife Ann.

Figure 1. "Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope", last minute tips from my wife Ann.

So Laura had an "in" with Qinetiq that graciously loaned a Dragon Runner for the wedding. I just happened to snap the picture (Fig. 1) of my wife with the Dragon Runner before the ceremony. Luckily the ring box fit nicely into the robot's claw.

Laura and I just before the ceremony.

Figure 2. Laura and I just before the ceremony.

As I said, it was a great wedding and Laura was radiant (Fig. 2). Okay. I am a bit biased. I don't have the photo of the Dragon Runner giving the ring box to the best man because I was not up front at the time but I know there is one floating around somewhere.The music at the time was Mr. Roboto.

Alex and Laura with the Dragon Runner.

Figure 3. Alex and Laura with the Dragon Runner.

Laura did get a little tux for the Dragon Runner (Fig. 3). It was not quite a perfect fit but it worked.

Just in case you don't check out the Dragon Runner on the Qinetiq site, it is not an autonomous robot. One of Laura's friends from work was wearing the backpack and using the control panel to control the Dragon Runner. That included the Dragon Runner's entry onto the dance floor when the wedding party was introduced. It zipped in and did a "Saturday Night Fever" spin and pump.

By the way, did I mention the bagpipers? And the minister's name: James Kirk.

In case you want to see more of the Dragon Runner, check out these videos on Engineering TV.

Video 1. Dragon Runner 10 Easier to Throw, Still Tough as Nails


Video 2. Top 5 Small Robots of 2011

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Bill Wong covers Digital, Embedded, Systems and Software topics at Electronic Design. He writes a number of columns, including Lab Bench and alt.embedded, plus Bill's Workbench hands-on column....
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