Giant Robotic Balls: New Amphibious Drones Swim & Roll

robotic war balls

A stabilized sphere, this remarkable new drone being developed in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps can swim upstream or roll uphills, able to tackle difficult terrain both by land and sea, including “paved road, off-road, sand, snow, sloped surfaces and water.”

Using nine-axis stabilization and“pendulum motion” propulsion system, the bot moves by shifting the center of gravity back and forth and a variety of steering algorithms. Its 360-degree capabilities mean it can rotate and turn quite literally on a dime.

guard bot demo bal

The size can be scaled as needed, with models as small as a few inches to ones as wide as ten feet. Able to operate for 8 hours on a single charge, the robust design features extended batteries, redundant systems and multiple payload bays that can be used for accessories like imaging devices, sonar and radiation detection – no offensive capabilities to report (at least, not as yet). “GuardBot Inc. is focused on the design and development of spherical unmanned amphibious vehicle systems. The current GuardBot design has two payload bays and is used for military, homeland security and commercial applications. Conceived in 2004 for a space planetary mission on Mars, GuardBot remains unique with no known competition. GuardBot, Inc. owns an exclusive license for this technology which is protected by multiple US and foreign patents.”

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See more in Robotics or under Technology. May, 2015.