What you see in the photos and video is real - a soccerball sized flying robot 球形飛行体 capable of zipping through the air at approximately 60 kilometers (40 mph) per hour! Developed by Japan’s Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute, the robot is maneuverable enough to slip through windows and flit around indoors and is designed for urban reconnaissance and infiltration as it carries a camera not weapons.
The yet unnamed remote controlled robot is the only flying spherical robot in the world and the machine flies on a single propeller and eight wings. Its spherical body reduces the effect of wind, and also has the added advantage of allowing simple controlled “crash landings” stop, drop and roll style.
What’s completely remarkable about this robot is that it only took about a year and a half to create, and most parts were sourced off the shelf in Akihabara, Tokyo’s electronics district for about $1,000! Though developed by the military, it has many practical civil applications like search and rescue but it also has the potential to be big brother checking up on you at home, school or in the workplace!
TV Tokyo segment on the Robot Flying Ball
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