Although it looks like something you’d see in Pilates class, the GuartBot is, seriously, a robot. It’s garnered praise for its many potential uses including reconnaissance, security, and scouting missions. Originally developed by a Connecticut-based company by the same name, GuardBot began life as a concept for missions to Mars, but has since evolved. It is now being tested by the United States military to aid and assist in patrolling duties.
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The spherical robot has a 2-foot diameter, but can be built up to 3 feet, or as small as 4 inches. The smallest version is being tested as a security robot, used for checking underneath vehicles at checkpoints. The robot is powered by a batter that can last up to 8 hours, and can be controlled by remote or programmed to travel a pre-determined path using onboard GPS.
The bot can move across a wide array of terrain – everything from sand, mud grass and snow at a top speed of 6mph. On water, the top speed slows to 4mph, and while that may not be very fast, it can be enough to perform guard duties.
The robot can even climb hills with a 30-degree slope or less.
On either side of the GuardBot are clear domes, meant for potential payloads and the interior of the robot can be customized with a variety of interments, depending on the mission. It comes equipped with two high-definition cameras, which can stream live video and be independently oriented. Instruments that can be utilized include night vision cameras, motion sensors, and laser scanners.
In one military example, the robot used chemical sensors to detect explosives ahead of a human detachment, warning them to proceed with caution.
The robot keeps its instruments upright while in motion via internal pendulums, which can regulate the centre of gravity.[Via GuardBot YouTube]