The startup Bounce Imaging has created a camera-studded ball that can scout for first responders or soldiers.
Credit: Bounce Imaging
A camera-studded ball tossed by soldiers, police offices or firefighters could give them a detailed look at what lies ahead inside a room or hallway.
The device made by Boston-based Bounce Imaging has six cameras, accelerometers, gyroscopes and temperature sensors, according to Discovery News. It's not a new concept — Israel's military already has the $5,000 Eyeball R1— but the startup founders hope to sell their version for much cheaper.
A ball cheap enough for first responders to literally throw away may come in handy during search-and-rescue scenarios in the aftermath of disasters. But the usefulness faces limits if a bad toss puts the ball behind an object blocking its views, and the fact that human users can't get it to return on its own.
Discovery News also suggests that the ball may prove less useful in a battlefield scenario if it alerts enemies inside a room. Instead, soldiers may prefer to simply toss a traditional "flashbang" grenade that disorients enemies in preparation for entry.
That does not mean the Bouncing Imaging invention can't find use as a cheap, easily carried scout. But the next version might want to try evolving into a cheap robot that can move around under human remote control.
Source: Discovery News