Monday, February 14, 2005

Rover Lives!

First it was Mickey Kaus, then it was Jonah Goldberg over at the NRO Corner, drawing everyone's attention to this article from the Telegraph:

A large black ball, originally designed by Swedish scientists for use on Mars, could be the latest weapon in the war against burglars.

The device, developed at the University of Uppsala, acts as a high-tech security guard capable of detecting an intruder thanks to either radar or infra-red sensors. Once alerted, it can summon help, sound an alarm or pursue the intruders, taking pictures.

It is capable of travelling at 20mph, somewhat faster than a human being. Even worse for intruders, the robot ball can still give chase over mud, snow and water.

The ball relies on an internal pendulum to control its motion which, when shifted, changes the centre of gravity and starts it rolling.

Those of you who are familiar with the ITC series The Prisoner will of course be reminded of Rover, the mysterious man-sized bubble capable of tracking and chasing its prey all around the Village. The only thing this Swedish "Rover" doesn't do is capture and asphyxiate, for which potential burglars (and future prisoners) should be grateful.

Something tells me Patrick McGoohan won't be visiting Uppsala anytime soon ...