GuardBot Robot Ball Could Be the Military's Next Drone
An invention doesn't always go to plan. For example, Viagra was originally intended to treat symptoms of heart disease... it now treats something quite different. And while it's a strange parallel to make, this roly-poly robot is of a similar situation. It's called the GuardBot and it was originally designed for space exploration on Mars. That initiative has since been put to the side but now, according to Popular Science, the US Marine Corps has been testing the robot ball as a potential amphibious scout drone. It's sort of like the Navy's shark-like swimming robot. And it's easy to see why. RELATED: This hitchhiking robot made its way across Canada and the US
The dual-camera GuardBot can operate wherever the Marines may need to go – through snow, in sand, across pavement, and even in water. Granted, it isn't particularly fast – top speed of only 3 mph in water and 6 mph on land – but GuardBot can operate continuously for up to eight hours on a single battery charge and can be programmed to patrol a set route or hold a perimeter.
There's really no shortage of things GuardBot can do when it does get to its target either. The robot can detect radiation, bomb-making chemicals, and beam back sonar data and other sensor communications. Best of all, the GuardBot technology is scalable. The company behind the project, GuardBot Inc., has created a smaller eight-inch ball that addresses the tricky task of inspecting the underside of cars.
While the GuardBot can't replace a Marine, it surely could help keep them safer.
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