Robotics

Omnidirectional mini robot could soon be patrolling your home

Omnidirectional mini robot cou...
The open-source Scout robot measures 70 x 100 x 110 mm (2.8 x 4 x 4.3 inches)
The open-source Scout robot measures 70 x 100 x 110 mm (2.8 x 4 x 4.3 inches)
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The Scout is IP65 waterproof, so it could be used outdoors
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The Scout is IP65 waterproof, so it could be used outdoors
The Scout automatically returns to its docking station for recharging
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The Scout automatically returns to its docking station for recharging
The open-source Scout robot measures 70 x 100 x 110 mm (2.8 x 4 x 4.3 inches)
3/3
The open-source Scout robot measures 70 x 100 x 110 mm (2.8 x 4 x 4.3 inches)
View gallery - 3 images

While most of us can't afford to pay a person to patrol our home at night, it would still be nice to know that something was checking up on stuff as we slept. That's where Moorebot's Scout robot is designed to come in.

Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Scout rolls across floors and carpets on four independently-powered wheels. What's more, they're Mecanum wheels – this means that each one is made up of a series of angled powered rollers, which allow the robot to move from side to side while still facing forward.

Users start by manually steering the Scout through a patrol route on one floor of their home, utilizing an accompanying iOS/Android app. The robot's onboard software records that route, then subsequently guides the Scout along it as the bot makes its scheduled patrols.

The Scout is IP65 waterproof, so it could be used outdoors
The Scout is IP65 waterproof, so it could be used outdoors

Because the Scout is wirelessly connected to the home's Wi-Fi system, users are able to view real-time video from its 1080p night-vision camera via an online portal. This means that if they're on vacation, for instance, they can still check in with it. They can also take manual control of the robot via that portal – or via the app, if they're at home at the time.

Additionally, since the robot has its own motion detector and microphone, it can autonomously go check out anomalous movements and noises. It's able to automatically detect and avoid obstacles as it does so, plus it's reportedly capable of recognizing human bodies and pets – so if it does go check on a movement or noise, the robot can tell if it's being caused by a human intruder, or by the user's own cat or dog.

The user can even talk to that person or animal, thanks to an onboard two-way audio communication system. All videos are recorded and stored in the cloud.

According to Moorebot, one three-hour charge of the Scout's 2,000-mAh lithium battery should be good for about 2.5 hours of runtime. When the battery starts getting low, the robot automatically returns to its docking station for a recharge.

As mentioned earlier, the Scout is presently on Kickstarter. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$139 will get you one – the planned retail price is $199.

It can be seen in action, in the video below.

Sources: Kickstarter, Moorebot

Moorebot Scout robot

View gallery - 3 images
7 comments
7 comments
Daishi
I'm glad to see products like this hit the market though I was sort of expecting these sooner. WoWee built something a little like this (named Rovio) in 2008 for $300 which would be about $370 today with inflation. It's difficult to nail the software though and I think reviews for it were mostly mixed. I hope their kickstarter is successful because I think there is potential for stuff in this space. Personally I would like to see something like the Echo show mounted on a mobile platform as a sort of mobile digital assistant. It's the sci-future we were promised and the technology to do that at a reasonable price is SO close.
Spud Murphy
Looks like this unit is tiny, really, something like this needs to be a little larger to handle any obstacles such as thick rugs etc, as well as from preventing your dog from treating it as just another chew toy.
Smokey_Bear
Daishi - We already have digital assistants in our pockets. We don't need another one.
I think what most people want is a robot to help around the house, like the Samsung Bot Handy.
Altronix
After reading about the security possibilities and then watching a video basically treating it as a kids toy, I was quite disappointed. Won't be looking at this any more. Home security is a serious business. Shame this wasn't marketed as such.
piperTom
It stores its video in the cloud? This means authorities can look into your home any time they want. NO SALE.
Username
They should integrate this functionality into robot vacuums. Patrol and clean at the same time!
Leithauser
Seems to me you can get the same effect better and easier by just mounting a series of stationary cameras in each room so that each one shows an entire room, like the Amazon Blink.