Small Robot Surveillance Balloons Like Niven's Copseye
A new patent describes a miniature robot surveillance balloon that would be capable of autonomous movement in groups.
(Miniature robot surveillance balloon)
Some of the device's planned capabilities:
These miniature surveillance balloons are essentially robots--capable of operating on their own when necessary. They also are able to operate in an intelligent cluster where together they can accomplish a goal by coordinating their efforts. Thus they become a socially interactive multiple robot system. Methods for controlling and manipulating a cluster of such robots have been described in a number of prior art references.
What is currently lacking, besides miniaturization, is the ability of a robot surveillance balloon to control its position in order to coordinate with other such balloons to effectively cover the deployment such that the desired surveillance objective is properly viewed. To do this, a balloon should have the ability to control its motion in both vertical and lateral directions.
These small surveillance bot balloons could also carry a small charge for use as an offensive weapon.
SF readers are immediately reminded of the copseyes from Larry Niven's 1972 story Cloak of Anarchy:
Someone at police headquarters had expected that. Twice the usual number of copseyes floated overhead, waiting. Gold dots ageist blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each a television eye and a sonic stunner, each a hookup to police headquarters, they were there to enforce the law of the Park.
As I recall from the story, the copseyes also were able to float around in small, directed groups.
Update 26-Mar-2008: Thanks also to Rod, who reminds me that the Honeywell ducted-fan MAV is being tested in Florida; see Honeywell MAV Tested By Miami Police for pictures and details.
Via Robot spy balloons.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/25/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.
Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-
Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'
Use Your Brainwaves As A Password
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'- Philip K. Dick, 1965.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'
Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'
Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'
'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'
Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'
Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'
Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...
Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'
DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.
President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'
Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'
Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'
Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!
Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories