Robotics

PatrolBot Mark II surveys your backyard and sprays unwanted visitors

The PatrolBot Mark II shows an unsuspecting garden sculpture who's boss
The PatrolBot Mark II shows an unsuspecting garden sculpture who's boss
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The PatrolBot Mark II shows an unsuspecting garden sculpture who's boss
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The PatrolBot Mark II shows an unsuspecting garden sculpture who's boss
This homemade remotely-operated robot sports night vision cameras for patrolling in the dark
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This homemade remotely-operated robot sports night vision cameras for patrolling in the dark
The PatrolBot Mark II designed, built, and programmed by Steve Norris
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The PatrolBot Mark II designed, built, and programmed by Steve Norris
Pan and tilt servo mechanism of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II
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Pan and tilt servo mechanism of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II
The electronic brains of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II
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The electronic brains of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II
The suspension system of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II
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The suspension system of Norris Labs' PatrolBot Mark II

Steve Norris, a software engineer with a knack for robotics, has built himself a remote-controlled robot in his spare time that could give professional bots a run for their money. The aptly titled PatrolBot Mark II trundles around on wheels and sends its operator a live video feed from its night vision camera. Of course, being a hobby project it isn't designed to be dangerous – but its 100-db car horn and water gun might put a scare into trespassing raccoons.

"I set out to create an outdoor robot that would use all metal construction and include a suspension system," Norris writes at his website. "Being relegated to the great outdoors I also wanted to give it some harmless (but fun) defensive capabilities as well. And with its suspension and defensive systems I now have a robot that can smooth out the bumps and kick butt all at the same time."

Unlike this other PatrolBot, Steve's probably won't be stopping any thieves in the foreseeable future, though it is a pretty nifty example of what can be accomplished with the tools that are out there.

Norris has built a couple dozen robots over the years, some of which have been featured in Robot Magazine, so if you're interested in building a robot yourself, you might want to swing by his website. There you can find the source code and design plans for his various projects, and possibly learn a thing or two. You can also check out more photos and videos of his creations at his flickr photostream and YouTube channel.

You can see the PatrolBot Mark II doing its thing in the video below.

Source: Norris Labs via Make

PatrolBot Mark II

4 comments
Bill Bennett
My neighbor has a cat digging in my yard I would love to use this on.
MBadgero
Overly complicated use of a robot. Automatic activation of lawn sprinkler systems when they detect an intruder has been around for decades. Simple, non-lethal deterrent. Obviously won't stop a determined, aggressive intruder, but neither will this robot.
Warhead
Dumb. Like any animal would hold still while this rattle-trap got within range. But have no fear, I'm sure if this ever went to market some redneck (God bless them) will swap the water cannon for a pellet gun...
Gargamoth
This isn't good, Some evil lowlife is liable to add a harmful chemical and kill the nieghbors cat. Someone killed my pet, if I saw something like this in someones yard, I wouldn't hesitate to destroy it myself...