A spherical flying robot has been developed at the Japanese Ministry of Self-Defense; it can zoom along indoors and outdoors at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or just hover. Menacingly.
(Flying spherical robot)
Navigation for this robot is achieved with a single propeller that gives the device thrust. The device also features a set of eight wings that give the sphere its control and directionality. The robot cannot currently any extra weight, but it does have spaces where a camera or other sensors could be mounted. The robots do not have autonomy protocols at this time, but that may happen in the future.
The robots cost about $1000 to produce per unit
Apparently, the makers of this robot report "buying most of the parts in Akihabara". DARPA, take note.
Fans of Stargate may recall this hovering spyball technology.
(Stargate hovering spyball)
SF fans may also remember 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 against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...
What's your favorite spherical sf robot? Update: Thanks to readers, lots of additional references may be found in the comments. End update.
Thanks to Moira for the tip and references on this story (welcome back!). Via
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