Release the fleas! SWAT and other urban assault teams could soon be deploying packs of all-seeing, hopping robots armed with mini missiles to ferret out the bad guys.
The EyeDrive unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) uses remote-controlled 360-degree panoramic video technology and a patented Point & Go sensor guidance mode to run down and "instinctively eliminate" human targets at ranges of up to 90 feet, according to ODF Optronics.
Built-in navigation allows multiple units to work in robotic unison, thus doubling, and even tripling, indoor reconnaissance capacity, according to the Israel-based company. In fact, the standard kit comes with two complete units. It could replace K-9s in attack mode and other dangerous duties (PDF).
This 5-pound all-terrain mini mite can be tossed--or dropped--from up to about 10 feet and is dual-side operable, which means it's self-righting. The "hopper" feature is optional. It allows the EyeDrive to hop over 3-foot obstacles, enhancing its observational capabilities, according to the developer.
ODF plans to produce an armed version in cooperation with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, another Israeli outfit, that could carry up to 16 miniature rockets. What constitutes miniature? Four .3-inch diameter rockets in a quad launcher only weigh a little over half a pound, and that includes 40-gram warheads.