Japanese Firm Unveils Flying Surveillance Robot

Dec 27, 2012
Masaru Yoshida, Nikkei Monozukuri
The small, flying surveillance robot developed by Secom
The small, flying surveillance robot developed by Secom
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Its rear side
Its rear side
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A demonstration of monitoring a suspicious person
A demonstration of monitoring a suspicious person
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The robot focusing on taking pictures of a license plate while flying around a suspicious car
The robot focusing on taking pictures of a license plate while flying around a suspicious car
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A picture being taken by the robot
A picture being taken by the robot
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It is equipped with a camera and two LED lamps and can determine the color of a vehicle even during nighttime.
It is equipped with a camera and two LED lamps and can determine the color of a vehicle even during nighttime.
[Click to enlarge image]

Secom Co Ltd developed a small, autonomous, flying surveillance robot for security purposes.

When an unauthorized person or car enters a parking lot of commercial facilities, manufacturing plant, site of a storehouse, etc, the robot, whose width and depth are about 80cm, approaches the person or the car and takes pictures of it. Therefore, it enables to take pictures that are useful for tracking down a suspicious vehicle, etc even in places where there is no surveillance camera or cameras are far away.

The robot is made by equipping Ascending Technologies GmbH's general-purpose product with a laser sensor, camera, communication device, computer, LED lamps, etc. The robot has four rotors and can move and hover like a helicopter. It weighs about 1.6kg and can continuously fly for about 15 minutes.

For example, if an unauthorized car enters a parking lot of facilities under surveillance, the laser sensor of the security system installed in the facilities detects the location of the parked car and sends the location information to the flying surveillance robot. The robot normally stays in a station that is equipped with a battery charger, etc and installed on, for example, the rooftop of a building.

When the robot receives the location information, it autonomously flies to the unauthorized car and takes pictures of it from a distance of several meters in midair while flying around the car. It is also possible to determine the orientation of the car by using the laser sensor and analyzing video and focus on taking pictures of its license plate.

The reason why the robot keeps a distance of several meters from a car is to avoid being attacked.