In case you have a soft spot for high-end surveillance gadgetry, you are bound to swear by this spherical spymaster from a Swedish firm – the GroundBot. And this all-weather, remote-controlled spherical ball is the latest in urban surveillance systems.
Originally designed for the hazardous task of exploring distant planets, GroundBot is being tested by the Swedish defense forces mainly for airport surveillance. Marketed by the Swedish company, Rotundus, this spherical spybot is at home in any terrain, be it snow, mud, sand, or even water.
It’s fitted with two wide-angle cameras and sensors inside a sealed polycarbonate shell that takes on the elements with extreme ease. The hard outer shell not only protects it from dust, possible blasts but also keeps it afloat in water. Tipping the scales at 55 pounds, this roly-poly spymaster stands tall at 2 feet and is slightly larger than a tire. But it is still small enough to go about its clandestine operations without making a splash unlike normal surveillance robots.
The GroundBot can travel or rather, roll at speeds of up to 10 km/hr. Doing its rounds around the airport hangers and tarmac, power plants, and distant border crossings, it can give its operators real-time and all round view of all that it surveys. Lithium-ion batteries give it juice enough for its 16-hour surveillance shifts, before it needs recharging. So the next time you see a big sphere rolling around the airport tarmac, be sure that it is the GroundBot doing its rounds.