There’s a new kind of drone and this one is an amphibious sphere. The Stamford, Connecticut research team at GuardBot Inc. has developed a new land and water robot balls that are currently being tested by the United States Marine Corp. The company, GuardBot, Inc., is working with the Marine Corp War Fighting Lab to test the drone in an “operational” environment however, it has not been disclosed where that may be.
The GuardBot, swims approximately 4 MPH over water and travels up to 30 MPH on land, even going uphill at a 30-degree incline.
After seven years of development GuardBot creator, Peter Muhlrad, says the robot ball drones can be rapidly produced in various sizes from as small as approximately 10-centimeters up to 9-feet.
Defense One reports,
“Muhlrad’s company, GuardBot Inc. has a cooperative research development agreement, or CRADA, with the Navy. A CRADAis a legal framework that allows private companies or researchers to use government facilities, research and resources to build things that are mutually beneficial to both parties. The information that the researcher discovers is protected for up to five years. Under many CRADAs the researcher does not receive money from the government but has the right to commercialize what he or she produces. The government retains a use license.”
“Company documents suggest it can be scaled down to units as small as 10 cm and as large as nine feet. The company is planning to develop a prototype that’s 6 feet in diameter.”
According to the GuardBot, Inc. website,
“GuardBot can operate in several demanding missions. GuardBot demonstrations have been performed at various defense and commercial venues. GuardBot Inc is responding to demands for robust GuardBot vehicle systems with advanced control, redundancy, extended battery life and advanced payload integration and management. Advanced payloads tested and considered include: imaging devices, IED and radiation detection sensors, sonars, energetics and advance radios.”
While some may find this cool, think about the ramifications knowing all we know from whistleblowers like, Edward Snowden. These balls can [and will] be made smaller and smaller, they can be easily deployed anywhere at anytime and, according to Muhlrad — with further funding, within 8-10 months GuardBot will be able to be programmed to travel alone anywhere in the world without being wirelessly tethered to a remote operator.
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