Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 ")

Florida Man Felt Harassed By Drone, Shoots It Down
'...a kid bounced a missile off a golden ball.' - Larry Niven, 1972.

Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.' - Greg Bear, 2003

Portsmouth, OH Residents Don't All Favor Drone Surveillance
'...a kid bounced a missile off a golden ball.' - Larry Niven, 1972.

Airport Security Now Using Predator-Style Heat Vision Helmets
'Want some candy?'

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Jetson ONE Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
Who says you can't have your flying car?

Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station
'Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

Monarch Tractor - It's Electric, Autonomous and Smart
'Driver-optional' and follows gestures.

'Seabreeze' Apple And UCLA Project To Beat Depression
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test,' the machine said peevishly.'

Hovermap By Emesent Autonomous Mapping Works Indoors - and Out
Perfect for exploring ancient artifacts on distant planets.

Sono Motor's Sion Sun-Powered Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.'

Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.'

Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.'

Ingenious Engineer Creates DIY Feeding Robot
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

SpaceX Creates 'Tholian Web' Mega Constellation Of Satellites
'We shall not see home again!'

Do Smart Glasses Need Forward-Facing Cameras?
'They were stylish, with yellow-tinted lenses and hip frames, but the posts were unusually thick.'

Adorable One-Seater Electric Car From Wuxi Sinotech
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..'

It's Spacewalk Sunday, Thanks To The ESA
'The delicious, indescribable pleasure of being a little planet swinging through space...'

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.