The exterior couldn’t be simpler: a ball. But behind the façade, GroundBot is humming with advanced number-crunching technology. That’s why it’s as easy to use as an arcade driving game. Read on to get the low down on GroundBot.
- Operates in most terrain including deep snow, ice, mud and sand.
- GroundBot also floats on water.
Navigation and endurance
- Speeds of up to 10 km/h (6 mph)
- Fast acceleration and fast stopping
- Turns in a small radius left or right
- Direct control via joystick / direct user interface
- Route-following outdoors and indoors via waypoint navigation system
- Operating time 8-16 hours depending on mission profile
- Battery Li-Ion rechargeable
- Charging time 3-4 hours
- Wireless connection with Wi-Fi as standard
- Emergency/power control over a separate secure radio link
- Standard payload: two pan-tilt-zoom cameras, giving 360˚ field of vision
- Payload capacity is 2 kg
- Two dual-band (L1 and L2) GPS receivers
- Main odometry sensors: accelerometers, gyros, magnetometer and rotary encoders
- High quality video streams in MPEG-4 compression
- Sent via Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP)
- Intuitive and simple to use
- Gives the operator situational awareness – the operator feels as if they are inside the ball
- Both 2D and 3D video feeds
- Can be operated from stationary and portable consoles/interfaces
There are two main principles to get a ball rolling on its own – to rotate a mass inside the ball or to displace its centre of mass.
In order to move the pendulum is lifted in the direction of travel, the centre of mass gets displaced in front of contact point between the ball and the ground and the ball starts rolling.
Turning is accomplished by moving the pendulum to either side. The locomotion principle is clearly illustrated in an animation.
A robot is of little use if it can not interact with its environment. There is a natural place for sensors such as cameras where the main axis meets the shell. Other possible sensors include microphones, gas and smoke detectors, heat sensors and so on.
A critical property of a spherical robot is how close the centre of mass is to its shell – the closer the more power. Rotundus has a patent pending solution that gives a stable system, a centre of mass close to the shell and a secure place for sensors.
Markets for the robot
In the security business as a whole there is a strong pressure to replace humans with technology in order to reduce costs and increase security. Substantial savings are possible because a single security officer can cost up to $200 000 for a 24 hour service.
Installation of traditional alarm systems outdoors can be both difficult and expensive. The price for mounting a camera can be more than $5 000. Rain and storms put heavy strain on the technology and cause many false alarms. Large areas make it difficult to get good coverage using cameras and alarm systems.
Rotundus’ business is to provide an extremely durable robot as an alternative to security officers and traditional technology. The unique spherical shape of the robot gives it properties that are particularly useful in rough and dangerous environments:
- The robot is very durable because no moving parts are exposed. It can be constructed to be completely airtight, making it possible to move in sand, water, mud, snow and so on without damaging the interior
- It is fast because of the low friction — 15-20 mph
- Its ability to overcome obstacles makes it perfect for rough terrain
Example applications are: automated patrolling of large areas, remote controlled alarm response, scouting of unknown terrain and inspection of fires and gas leaks.
Rotundus is actively seeking partners on other markets, for example
- Rescue missions. Protect human lifes by using a Rotundus robot for teleoperated inspection in catastrophy situations such as fires and gas leaks
- Military inspection and reconnaissance. A military inspection must be able to run in all kinds of terrain, in all weather and also be extremely durable. There are several advantages – no risk for the lifes of soldiers, automated 24/7 surveillance, controlled costs and immediate responses
- Planetary exploration. This application is Rotundus origin and something the robot is very well suited for
- Toys/entertainment. One example is a remote controlled robotball for all kinds of terrain