People have been affixing cameras to RC car chases since forever but those primitive spybots always had one fatal flaw when surveiling urban areas — stairs. The SCORP, however, can drag itself up a flight if it needs to or be thrown in directly through a second-story window.
The SCORP, built by Swiss manufacturer Novatiq, is classified as a Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MUGV). It's slightly bigger than a bread basket — 13-inches long x 10-inches wide x 4.7-inches tall — and weighs 7.7 pounds. It has a carrying capacity of approximately six pounds and can be outfitted with a variety of sensors, extra cameras, a manipulator arm, or a bevy of other communications equipment.
The SCORP is outfitted with four onboard cameras — one in front, dual side-mounted, and one on the rear — all with night-vision IR illuminators. This array provides a 360-degree omnidirectional view of the robot's surroundings day or night. The dual-analog remote works up to 500 meters outdoors and 100 meters indoors, depending on the line of sight. And, if the robot moves out of controller range, it will automatically backtrack its course until it reestablishes a communication link.
The SCORP will officially launch in March with a $US10,750 price tag and is being marketed the the military and various police organisations as an easy-to-deploy, single-user alternative to other MUGV's like the iRobot 110 and the Armadillo V2. So the next time you think someone's thrown a brick through your window, make sure that brick doesn't try to drive away or take your picture.
Side note: Ok I've got to admit, I'm really curious as to the proper throwing technique for this machine. Do you grab it like a baseball or more like a shotput? Can you hold onto its little arms and spin it like a hammer-throw? [Novatiq via Gizmag]