The Robot Security Ball (Orbii)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 12, 2016

A new security system in a ball might be the most different security product in years. Orbii combines a camera and other sensors into a steerable ball that users can remotely control and roll into trouble spots.

However, despite a bold idea, will Orbii ball security systems be too limited to be useful? We spoke with Orbii's CEO and take a look in this note.

* *** ******** ****** ** * **** ***** ** *** most ********* ******** ******* ** *****.************* * ****** *** ***** ******* **** * ********* **** that ***** *** ******** ******* *** **** **** ******* *****.

*******, ******* * **** ****, **** ***** **** ******** ******* be *** ******* ** ** ******? ** ***** **** *****'* CEO *** **** * **** ** **** ****.

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Product ********

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Inline image 1

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***** **** ** **** ** **** *** ****** ******, *** the ******* **** ****** ******** ****** ******* *** ******* *** future *******. *** **** ** **** ** **** *** **** via *** '***** ****' *********, ***** ******* ** * ******* fashion ** * '******* ****'.

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Self ********* ******

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Video *******

*** ******* ***** ** ******* **** ** ********* ******* *** did *** **** *********. ************, *** ~$**/*****, ***** **** **** the ****** ** ***** *** ****'* ***** ** *** *****.

Stationary *****

*** ** *** ******* *********** ******** ***** ** ***** ** how ** **** ***** ******** *** ********** ******* *** ****** rolling. *** ******* ******** **** **** ********* ***** **** *** stream **** ******. ***** *********:

***** ***** ** *******/*******, ** ***** ********* ***** ** *****, to *** ***** ***** ***** ******, *** **** *** **** lag ** *** ***** (******* ***** ****) *** **** ******* frames **** ****** ** ****** ** *** ********* ** ** heading.
*** ****** **** **** **** ************ ****** ***** ** *** camera's ******** ** *** **** ***** *******, *** *** *****. However, **** ************** **** ****** ***** *** **** ** ********** ** ******* in *****.

$299 ********* *****

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Concept *********

** *** *******, ***** ******* ** ***** ******* ********** **** traditional ********** ******* *** *******. ***** ****:

  • ****** ***********: ***** *** *** ** *********** ** * *********** ***** camera, ***** ***** **** ** * ****** ******* *****. **** the ****** **** ********** *** ******* ******** *** ****** ** relocated ** ***** *********. *** ****** ***** ****** ** *******, Orbii's ******* ** *********** **** *** ******** *** ************ **** is * ******* ***** ******* ** *** *****.
  • ****** *******: *** ******* ******** * ****** ****** **** ******* * patrol *******, ***** *** **** *** **** ***** * ********** path *** * ************* ********. ****** *********** *** ****** ******* where ***** *** ** ********** ** ***** ** *******, ***** will ** **** ** ****** ***** ****** ****.
  • ********** ****** ********: ***** **** ***** **** **** ***** ** ***** ******* are *********. *** ******* ***** ** ******* **** **** $** - $*** *** ***** *** *** ** ***** **** ***** initial **** ********.

Product **********

*******, ***** ***** *** ***** *********** ****** ** ********.

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  • *** ***-***** *****:*** ****'* **** ****** ** *** ***/*****, *** ** *** unit ******** **** ** ************. *** *****, ***** **** **** ambient *****.
  • ** *******, ***:*** ******* **** ****** **** '******* ********' *** **********/********** **** not ** ***** *** ******* *******. **** ***** *** ***** can ** ******* **** ********* ***** **** ****** ***** ** bedrooms, ***** ** * **** ********* ******* *******.
  • ***** ******/*******: ***** ***** ** *** ****** *** **** **** ** soils *** ***** ****** ***. **** ****, **** ***** **** can ****** ********* ******* ** ****** ****** ********, *** ***** should **** ** ****** *** **** **** ***** *** **** results.
  • ****** ***** ****: ****, *** **** ****** ***** ** **** **** ******, and ** * **** ***** ** ******* ******** ******, **** will **** ** **** ******** ***** *********.

The ******* *** *** *******

*** ******* ** * *******, *** ** ** *********** *******,**** ******, *** *** ******** ********** ** ********. **** **** **** finished ** *********** ******* *** *** ******* ** ** ********* campaign, ***** ***** **** *** ***** ***** *****.

*******, **** ** * ***** ******** **** ** *** ** have **** *** *****. ** ******, ***** **** **** **** robots (******* ****** ************ *********** ******* ****** ******** *****) *** ***** **** **** **** *** *** ***** *********). If *****, ** *** **** *** *****, *** ******* * reasonable ******** ** *** *** $*** *****, ** ***** ** add * ******** *** ********* ** ******** *******.

Comments (16)

ooh I could follow my cats around with this... the little turds! Other than that, not sure its extremely useful, maybe to look under things like houses?

If Orbii, in the next few years, can develop a reasonable offering at the sub $500 range, it could be add a valuable new component to security systems.

LG's Home-Bot stands to clean up as well.

If it does not stream video while moving, how do you steer it?

Bump into stuff?

The demo video shows video remaining stable while the ball is rolling. So your question is a good one to ask.

I'll ask the CEO this and report back!

Orbii responds:
While Orbii is rolling/driving, it keeps streaming frame by frame, to the users smart phone screen, and user see some lag in the video (Dropped frame rate) and only streams frames when camera is facing in the direction it is heading.
Steering while rolling is not a problem as long as user knows in advance the map of the room, so user would just turn the joy stick on screen in that direction to steer the roll in that direction.
When we push the software update it will enable the Auto Drive and room mapping option which will make it drive much easier.
So basically the ball sends a single intermittent image based on the ball's position while rolling, but it isn't full-framerate video.
I'll update the note above to add this feedback too.

Thanks for getting an answer.

Maybe the BB-8 would make a better botcam platform?

Because it's got a head, which is always a plus.

Well, technically it could be done.

It's just a matter of discarding the frames in between revolutions.

You would also need a fast lens/shutter.

And these devices are aware of their orientation, and are constantly adjusting based on the gyro. They are the technological eggs which hatched into Hoverboards.

BTW, anyone who has one of these minus the camera, i.e. The Sphero, knows that "steering" is really not an accurate term for the control.

It's slightly more steerable than a luge.

Single Floor Only: Also, the unit cannot climb or drop down stairs...

Actually, these type of devices drop down stairs (and off ledges) with little effort. ;)

I sometimes feel like the security industry at-large is going through something similar to the conversion from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles. There are a LOT of very "unique" ideas being rolled out (pun intended) these days.

I don't think this Orbii concept has much practical application at all. In some ways it's like thinking a PTZ is a replacement for 3 fixed cameras, allowing you see "everything", when in reality the camera never ends up pointed at what you wanted, when you wanted.

To take it up a level, I haven't seen a robotic security device that would really offer security in most common situations (which reminds me, I haven't seen any of those "the robots are coming" security articles in a while now, thankfully). If you want indoor security, a few fixed cameras in strategic locations would probably still give you more bang for the buck, and not risk being attacked by a bored/enthusiastic pet, or kicked into a trash bin by an intruder.

But these devices are causing more people to think about new form products for the security market, and making more people aware of the fact that security can come in a variety of form-factors and implementations. I think that's good for the industry overall, but I kind of feel bad for some of the front-line soldiers.

I was a little shocked that there were no indoor drone security gadgets at CES this year. Why roll along the floor when you can soar with the ceiling fans?

Fail fast, fail often, and Godspeed.

+1 for the pun

I cannot argue with your reasoned response. Fixed cameras indeed provide that measure of vigilant observation that a dynamic camera notoriously does not have.

The rolling camera idea is interesting for homes and maybe as an analog for manned security staff in some situations.

A small rolling ball will not replace traditional security/surveillance systems, but if I'm looking for a 'force multiplier', I might think of a rolling camera or drone.

That is the way the military has adopted automation like this - riflemen aren't out of jobs yet - but being able to increase awareness is a real tactical benefit.

I wonder this technology has better or other applications usages: 1. A gaming ball, play battle fights with your friends. 4up player control, streaming video, hit point on device with a force detection. This has potential for biggest market share Gamers have deep rich pockets. 2. Home security is boring dull and who has time to go play with a ball, except your cat or dog. So need to add some water squirt inside to fire at your pet stop them getting onto furniture! Hope about put smoke detector on it and go find a fire to put out for you. 3. Anyone remember Atari Marble Madness video game! Just need a trackball Bluetooth / Wi-Fi model to control unit would be much easier to move about with! 4. Something to go into tunnels and clean look for blockage in drains. (might need to be smaller). Call it the Turd Ball. 5. An extra in next Star Wars movie, just need add a few light and some sound effects. 6. Airport security, if there was a smell detector like a sniffer dog, could detect drugs.

I wonder if this is a joke. "Orbii" in Romanian means "the blind."

It's also where we get the Internet acronym ROFL from.

For a PRO version of this see: http://guardbot.org . It works on ground, water, snow, and sand. It has multiple sensor options, up to 2 PTZ cameras, GPS, audio, other. It can give streaming video while it is moving because it always rolls on the same axis so the sides of the ball are always on the sides. It comes in multiple sizes and has guard tour and obstacle avoidance intelligence so it can operate in industrial areas coexisting with other moving vehicles.

Disclosure: I work for a VMS manufacturer, Intelligent Security Systems, (ISS). ISS works with and supports the Guardbot, but is not financially affiliated with Guardbot, Inc.

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