Monday, February 14, 2005

THIS Sounds Strangely Familiar!

If you've ever seen Patrick McGoohan's surreal series The Prisoner, you'll remember Rover, the wacky weather balloon that chased down escapees from The Village. Well, Rover lives!

A large black ball, originally designed by Swedish scientists for use on Mars, could be the latest weapon in the war against burglars.

The device, developed at the University of Uppsala, acts as a high-tech security guard capable of detecting an intruder thanks to either radar or infra-red sensors. Once alerted, it can summon help, sound an alarm or pursue the intruders, taking pictures.

It is capable of travelling at 20mph, somewhat faster than a human being. Even worse for intruders, the robot ball can still give chase over mud, snow and water.

The ball relies on an internal pendulum to control its motion which, when shifted, changes the centre of gravity and starts it rolling.

Actually the current test model is somewhat smaller than Rover - 2 feet in diameter. (via)

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