Sunday, April 10, 2011

iRobot First Look Tactical Survelliance Bot

iRobot 110 First Look
If you or your friends own a Roomba, you know first hand how these cool little robots rover around and clean up your floors at a low initial cost. Now just imagine that, but with a camera and remote control maneuverability, and the ability to throw the robot in a room with enemy combatants. 

You may not come across this enemy scenario to often in your everyday life, so you might just stick with the vacuum, however the use for this technology by law enforcement and military forces can have wide ranging possibilities. One can easily say this innovation by iRobot could save hundreds if not thousands of lives in the long term. This robot gives the ability to see a homicidal maniac hidden in an adjoining room or a Taliban fighter pinned up in a trench, before they can see the SWAT member or Soldier working the controls. 

The company website notes that this little guy can survive a 15 foot drop, has 4 cameras, two-way radio, and is water proof up to a three foot depth. It is also lightweight at 5 pounds for easy throwing, and can speed up to a blistering three miles per hour. The operational battery life is quite typical at six hours while in action, and ten hours when stationary with cameras working.

Another useful tidbit is that you can add thermal, biological, chemical, radiation, and I am sure any other sensor you can think of. The kicker is that you can also add a weapons system as long as the payload is only a half pound. Perhaps there are some targets that simply can't be placed under arrest. You will maneuver this bad boy with a wrist mounted touch screen display that also has a built in radio. The audio aspect is just another amazing addition, so that you an tell the targeted perp to get his face in the dirt before all hell breaks loose.

Robert Moses, President of iRobot's Government division was quoted in the Boston Herald, stating he wanted to see one of these in the hands of every soldier. While this is an amazing tool, I don't think with the current budgetary concerns that the DOD will be willing to plop down a wad of cash to cover the $10K price tag per bot. Mr. Moses' dream of a bot for every troop is a bit unrealistic even with a bulk discount. I am sure you too would opt for a nanny cam rather than breaking the bank to harass your baby sitter with this mobile spy. However, a wireless camera mounted on your Roomba may just do the trick. 

There is no hidden magic here, just check out the video to see that the proof is in the pudding. For additional robot goodness, check out iRobots other military focused innovations which include similar products for surveillance, heavy payload carrier, and bomb disposal at Combat Bots.

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