Tumbleweed Spy Robot Camera

A prototype tumbleweed spy robot camera is being tested for use by British soldiers engaged in urban warfare.


(Tumbleweed spy drone)

The Tumbleweed device can be carried in a backpack and can be launched in seconds; live images are sent back to command personnel, providing real-time information for decision-making.

Six angled blades (propellers) arranged in a ring provide lift; the Tumbleweed spy drone can hover and fly in three dimensions.

Amazingly, the Tumbleweed can also roll along the ground to its destination, bouncing along or lying in wait in doorways or on the tops of roofs.

The Tumbleweed was designed by a team from Manchester University, led by Dr Bill Crowther, senior lecturer at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. He remarks:

'The idea is pretty new. This design only dates back around 10 months, and we only got a patent granted last week.

'The problem with existing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is that they're fairly unmanoeuvreable, particularly close to the ground among buildings in gusty winds.

'Instead of having to turn and tilt in order to move - like a helicopter - the Tumbleweed remains level and relies on very rapid variations in power to each of the six propellers - so it can generate forces to move in any direction.

'It will fly but it will also roll along the ground which is a far more efficient way of moving, so we have longer endurance.

Star Wars fans of course remember the Droidekas, robots that roll along until they are ready to face a threat.


(Star Wars Droidekas)

For another real-world example of the rolling idea, take a look at this Soft Robot Powered By Shape Memory Alloy Spokes.

Read more at the Daily Mail; thanks to Moira for another great tip.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/18/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.' - Jack Vance, 1976.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.