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.
Engineers at Fuel Cell Energy have found a way to take advantage of a side reaction, unique to their carbonate fuel cell that has nothing to do with energy production, as a potential, cost-effective solution to capturing carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
To get to a trillion sensors in the IoT that we all look forward to, there are many challenges to commercialization that still remain, including interoperability, the lack of standards, and the issue of security, to name a few.
This is part one of an article discussing the University of Washington’s nationally ranked FSAE electric car (eCar) and combustible car (cCar). Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow, which will discuss the four unique PCBs used in both the eCar and cCars.
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