Though it looks more like a stability ball that you’d see at the gym, GuardBot is actually a spherical, amphibious robot with many potential uses for broadcasting, reconnaissance, or security. GuardBot was developed by a Connecticut-based company of the same name. Though it began as a potential bot for missions to Mars, it is now being tested by the United States military to possibly assist in future patrolling duties.
The ball is about 60 centimeters (2 feet) in diameter, though it can be scaled up as large as 3 meters (9 feet) or as small as 10 centimeters (4 inches). The smaller version is perfect for searching underneath vehicles at security checkpoints. It is powered by a battery that lasts up to 8 hours. GuardBot can also be controlled via remote for targeted missions, or it can be programmed to travel along an area that has been pre-defined via the onboard GPS.
The amphibious robot is capable of moving across a variety of terrains, including sand, grass, mud, or even snow with a top speed of 9.7 kilometers per hour (6 mph). It is a bit slower in the water, maxing out at 6.4 kilometers per hour (4 mph). This might not be particularly fast, but it's definitely enough to perform its necessary guard duties. The robot is also capable of climbing up hills with a 30 degree slope, making it able to guard a wide variety of locations.
Two clear payload domes peek out on either side of GuardBot, and the instrument inside can vary depending on the needs of the user. It features two onboard high-definition cameras that can be independently oriented and can live stream video. Night vision, motion sensors, and laser scanners are all options that can be added to GuardBot. It is also able to sense chemicals used for explosives, which would alert humans to proceed with caution in the area.
The robot is able to keep its instruments remaining upright while in motion due to an internal pendulum that regulates the center of gravity. Want to see more videos of this awesome robot in action? Check out GuardBot’s YouTube channel.
You can also view some of its amazing features here (Note: there’s no audio in the video):