Watch: Star Wars-Style Spherical Robot to Guard US Marines
Remember the robot in the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was essentially an adorable spherical version of R2D2? Now, a robotics company called Guardbot Inc. might be making that robot a reality, as cute little robot balls are currently testing to be bomb sniffers for the US Marines.
The Marines are testing out a robotic ball called Guardbot. Designed for amphibious missions, the drone can swim at 4 mph and roll at 20 mph. It moves by shifting its center of gravity back and forth. While the main function is surveillance, its creators say Guardbot could easily carry explosives. #navy #military #war #mission #marines #guardbot #robot #drone #swim #ball #invention #taxes
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The GuardBot is extremely versatile, able to explore land, water, and almost everything in between. It can roll at 6mph on land and swim at 3 mph in the water, and it is relatively autonomous, as its battery charge can last for approximately eight hours. It looks a little bit like an insect's head (but in an endearing way?) and it was originally conceived to go to Mars. That idea proved to be a little too ambitious, but it is now, according to GuardBot Inc., "one of the world's only true amphibious robots."
[Credit: GuardBot Inc.]
As a result of this versatility, it is ideal for protecting Marines, who often switch terrains at a moment's notice. It can capture video in two different directions simultaneously with its "eyes" on either side, and it can also use laser spectroscopes to detect chemicals in bombs.
Here are a couple of videos of the GuardBot in action: