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 ")

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Use Your Brainwaves As A Password
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'- Philip K. Dick, 1965.

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
'...A million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

 

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

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

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.