When they aren’t working on the latest Roomba vacuum, the team at iRobot make equipment for more aggressive use cases. iRobot actually manufactures quite a few things that aren’t vacuums, and in all shapes and sizes, too. One of those other robots is called the FirstLook, and it begs to be thrown.
FirstLook is a five pound surveillance robot with tank treads and small mechanical flippers to help ensure it doesn’t get stuck. It’s waterproof up to one meter and can be used in up to 130 degree environments. The little robot is specifically designed to be thrown into an unsafe building or hostile location in order to evaluate the situation or see if anyone needs to be rescued. There’s heavy emphasis put on the ability to throw this robot through windows or down flights of stairs on to hard surfaces and still have it perform as intended.
The remote control for the FirstLook resembles a ruggedized Wii U GamePad and is dominated by a 5-inch display. The resolution isn’t great at just 800 x 480, but it’s good enough to see through the eyes of the robot. In fact it has four eyes, with a camera positioned on each side, all of which have tilt and pan capabilities. Anyone piloting a FirstLook should be able to assess the robot’s location and surroundings easily before proceeding.
The average consumer isn’t the target market here, like many of iRobot’s crazy projects. We certainly won’t be able to throw our Roomba’s around and use them like little tanks anytime soon, but it is undeniably cool that robotics are headed in this direction for those times where it is just too dangerous to send a person into a hostile situation.
Read more about FirstLook at iRobot, via Fast Company