I don't see how the drive mechanism is any different than a Sphero toy, but I like the dual gimballed camera mechanism. I assume the cameras are independently controllable in pan and tilt, like a chameleon? If you could point them in the same direction, you could probably get reasonable stereo vision to a remote operator.
This is an interesting alternative arrangement for a security patrol device, and it would appear to have avoided quite a few of the common challenges with it's unique form factor. But it would be fairly simple to neutralize with a method similar to the one used by biologists for capturing skunks. But otherwise it is quite an intersting package. A smaller version would probably sell very well as a high-class toy. Just think, a two inch model could probably go almost anywhere and not be noticed. But scaling down might be quite a challenge.
"The patented drive-mechanism uses a motorized pendulum to propel the Guardbot by changing the center of gravity for back-and-forth movement, as well as 360-degree turns" sounds like an ingenious way to take advantage of a sphere's capability for directional momentum. It reminds me of a hamster ball with a hamster in it - the hamster's center of gravity affecting the ball's motion and direction while moving about the floor. I am wondering if any of these are in service yet - the variety of payloads make the extremely versatile and I could see them being used in many different applications.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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