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Tektronix Sponsors CM Robotics' Competitive Robots


Tektronix Sponsors CM Robotics' Competitive Robots

TPS2000 Series Oscilloscopes Assist with New Combat Robot Design, Debug and Troubleshooting, In the Lab and at Competitions

BEAVERTON, Ore., March 23, 2005 - Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, today announced that it will sponsor the CM Robotics competitive combat robot sport team. With the donation of the TPS2000 Series oscilloscopes and accessories, Tektronix' sponsorship will empower the CM Robotics' team to effectively design and troubleshoot in the lab and in the field at national competitions.

Recent advances in robotics technologies combined with the plunging cost of computer power could mean that the long-awaited mass market for robots is finally within reach. Recently, a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) report predicted that the biggest growth over the next three years will be in domestic robots with 10-fold growth by 2006.

"Oscilloscopes are important instruments for robotic design and test," said Chris Loberg, America's region business development manager, Tektronix. "We see these competitions as a way to attract people to robotics and believe that many technical innovations will be stimulated by these efforts. We are pleased to assist CM Robotics through our sponsorship."

The Tektronix sponsorship includes the CycloneBot robot that captured 4th place out of 115 registered entries in the heavyweight class at the 2004 Robot Fighting League Nationals, an invitation only event that brings together the best robots throughout all of North America. Tektronix will also sponsor CM Robotics' newest robot design, "Killer Moose", a lightweight vertical spinner. With the TPS2024 portable, full-featured oscilloscope, CM Robotics expects to be able to gain a competitive design advantage enabling them to quickly debug on the sidelines for maximum performance of their robots.

"We are very pleased to have the sponsorship from Tektronix and access to their industry-leading test and measurement equipment," said Mike Worry, CEO of CM Robotics and Nuvation Engineering. "With a full set of features such as isolated channels and long battery life, the TPS2024 oscilloscope is invaluable to us in our lab design work and at field competitions. The portability is a tremendous asset for final calibration of our robots on the road at competitive venues. In the arena of combat robots, maintaining a competitive advantage is critical and we expect the TPS2024 to give us more edge."

CycloneBot has one of the most advanced control systems ever to be fielded in robotic combat. The entire 220 pound CycloneBot titanium robot spins on two wheels, reaching tool steel tip speeds in excess of 100mph. While spinning, the robot modulates the wheel speed synchronized with its heading to induce a translational drift on top of the high rotation. To maintain absolute heading, the robot uses a two axis magnetometer to measure the Earth's magnetic field. Measuring that magnetic field in an environment with 18HP of brushed DC motors that see peak currents over 1000A is extremely difficult. The requirements were to test a variety of different shielding, grounding, physical locations, wiring architectures and algorithm parameters for the magnetometer to best insulate it from motor, motor controller, and power line noise.

The CM Robotics' team used the TPS2024 X / Y display mode combined with infinite persistence. While measuring the X axis and Y axis output, rotating the robot traces out a circle. By measuring the analog raw output from the magnetometer with the TPS2024, the team could rapidly try different shielding, grounding and placement techniques. The portable features including the lightweight form factor and battery operation of the TPS2024 was invaluable in this testing so that CycloneBot could be rotated freely.

Once the best "eye opening" was determined, then the TPS2024 was used to determine the parameters for the Cyclone drive algorithm. The algorithm uses a calibration histogram count to determine the "circle" edges. Once this is calculated, future measurements are shifted and stretched, then used in an arc tan calculation to determine the current absolute heading. The new layout had shifted a significant portion of the measurements outside of the histogram's original range. Again using the TPS2024 in infinite persistence display mode, the team was able to rapidly and visually capture the new operating ranges.

The CM Robotics' team with CyloneBot and Killer Moose will compete next at ROBOlympics in San Francisco, March 24th to 27th. More information about the robots is available at www.cmrobotics.com.

About the TPS2000 Series

The TPS2000 Series Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs) are designed to improve the productivity of designers and technicians requiring a powerful, general-purpose oscilloscope in a compact, portable package. They are the first full-featured, four-isolated-channel, battery-powered oscilloscopes providing an accomplished measurement tool equally adept in the lab or in the field.

About CM Robotics

CM Robotics is a robotic design and manufacturing company for the growing sport of robotic combat. With a team of over a dozen builders, business men, engineers, welders and software developers we provide unique marketing opportunities for our sponsors and customers. Known for their entertainment appeal, innovative designs, and cross-disciplinary technical expertise, CM Robotics is recognized for raising the bar of robotic combat at BattleBots, Steel Conflict, ROBOlympics, and the Robot Fighting League Nationals.

About Nuvation

Nuvation is a leading Electronics Design Services (EDS) firm that provides FPGA, board, and firmware design services as well as Signal Integrity Analysis and licensable IP Cores for the embedded systems industry. Nuvation's experience spans industries such as Homeland Security/Defense/Aerospace, Medical, Semiconductor, Consumer and Communications. Founded in 1997 and based in San Jose, California, Nuvation's customers include a number of notable companies such as Altera, Boston Scientific, Lucent, HP, JDS Uniphase, Infineon, LeapFrog, SanDisk, Finisar, and Trimble Navigation. More information is available at www.nuvation.com.

About Tektronix

Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 55 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 19 countries worldwide. Tektronix' Web address is www.tektronix.com.

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Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc. All other trade names referenced are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.