An item on Gizmag.com sparked my interest today. As it turns out, Lausanne, Switzerland-based Novatiq is set to release a micro-unmanned ground vehicle, or MUGV, called SCORP. Classified as a “throwable” robot, the device is specially designed for front-line personnel engaged in antiterrorism, police, bomb squad and military activities.
Novatiq describes the 2.5 kg (5.5 lb.) SCORP as an “…advanced small, lightweight portable reconnaissance robot… that can be deployed and operated by a single person.”
Users would literally throw the device to deploy it into the area they need to survey, and then they can control it wirelessly from a remote control unit. The wireless link to the control unit features a range of around 500 meters outdoors (line of sight) and 100 meters indoors (line of sight). The use of alternative frequencies can allow up to four robots to operate within the same area.
Four cameras are built into the robotic platform to give the operator omnidirectional vision. SCORP can be used both during the day and at night, by utilizing the infrared lighting packs fitted on the cameras.
Designed to withstand falls of 300 cm (~10 feet), the dust and watertight SCORP can operate at temperatures ranging from -15°C to +55°C (~5 to 130°F) , and can thus be deployed in almost any environment.
According to the company, 2012 will see the launch of a series of accessories to extend the range of applications of the robot: biochemical detector, disruptor, encryption, manipulator with pincer, autonomous navigation, firing explosive charges, thermal imaging, and more.