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New Recon Scout Throwable Robot Can Climb Ship Hulls, Spy on Pirates

The latest version of the Recon Scout uses magnetic wheels to drive vertically up the sides of ships

1 min read
New Recon Scout Throwable Robot Can Climb Ship Hulls, Spy on Pirates

We’re already familiar with ReconRobotic’s line of throwable surveillance robots, and they’ve just announced a new model, pictured above. Or rather, they’ve announced an entirely new capability for the little robot: it can now drive straight up vertical metal surfaces with the aid of some magical magnetic wheels, check it out:

Specifically, this capability is designed for anti-piracy operations, where pirates have already taken over a ship and you want to take a look around before sending people on board to take it back. Recon Scout can be placed on the hull of a ship, where it’ll drive straight up to the deck and send back live video, even in total darkness thanks to IR illuminators.

There’s also mention of a “novel marsupial-robot system” that “enables an operator of a large robot to automatically transport and deploy a smaller robot downrange using a customized, ejectable sabot.” While I’m picturing a robotic speedboat firing a Recon Scout out of some sort of cannon at the side of a ship several miles away, the reality is probably something a little more like this, where a large robot can carry and deploy a smaller robot using a little garage of sorts. In any case, I’m looking forward to a few more details on that, and who knows, maybe it is a cannon that fires robots out of it... A guy can dream, can’t he?

[ ReconRobotics ]

The Conversation (0)
Image of a combine harvester within a wheat field, harvesting.

Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter, with 20 percent of the world's wheat trade. Combine harvesters that can drive themselves using technology from Russian company Cognitive Pilot are helping to make the harvesting process faster and more efficient.

Cognitive Pilot
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The field of automated precision agriculture is based on one concept—autonomous driving technologies that guide vehicles through GPS navigation. Fifteen years ago, when high-accuracy GPS became available for civilian use, farmers thought things would be simple: Put a GPS receiver station at the edge of the field, configure a route for a tractor or a combine harvester, and off you go, dear robot!

Practice has shown, however, that this kind of carefree field cultivation is inefficient and dangerous. It works only in ideal fields, which are almost never encountered in real life. If there's a log or a rock in the field, or a couple of village paramours dozing in the rye under the sun, the tractor will run right over them. And not all countries have reliable satellite coverage—in agricultural markets like Kazakhstan, coverage can be unstable. This is why, if you want safe and efficient farming, you need to equip your vehicle with sensors and an artificial intelligence that can see and understand its surroundings instead of blindly following GPS navigation instructions.

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