New Product: OCULUS Surveillance Robot

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 09, 2012

While new innovation in surveillance is sorely lacking, a startup is championing an amitious idea - surveillance robots - using very non traditional means. In this note, we examine OCULUS's key features, pricing and positioning looking at where this might provide tangible benefits to security users.

The 'OCULUS: Surveillance and Telepresence Robot' pairs a laptop/netbook device with a Arduino powered, remotely controlled motorized carriage. Using the integrated computer webcamera as eyes, the carriage provides the ability to steer and position the combine devices as a type of surveillance drone. While not intended to be a replacement for a purpose-built security drone, the OCULUS proves a mobile camera beyond PTZ capability for a very low cost.

Below is an image of the unit:

Here is their promotional video:

Concept

The 'inventor' of OCULUS, Colin Adamson of Xaxxon Technologies, describes how the unit could be useful to autonomously patrol blindspots in existing video surveillance systems. However, limitations of patrolling PTZ cameras also apply to OCULUS.  He suggests that OCULUS could indicate a 'more ominious security presence' since the robot includes 2 way audio and can be equipped with headlights. Adamson envisions a fleet of inexpensive, autonomously patrolling robots supplementing small staffs of human security guards. Placing a robot in harm's way is a preffered scenario over risking human life, and OCULUS might provide that option in some circumstances.

Features and Limitations

Camera Performance: This key performance attribute is governed by the quality of the integrated webcamera on the paired computer. As such, resolution, framerate, and low-light performance are may be marginal.

Speed: Unit quickness is limited by system power budget. The robot moves rather quickly given power and weight constraints, but is rather modest compared to a running human.

Power: Unit power is drawn from the laptop/netbook, and service life depends entirely on the size and strength of those batteries. OCULUS' website states that 'typical laptop batteries support 1 - 2 hours of continuious video streaming and driving before requiring a recharge'.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Terrain: the unit is not suitable to be driven on anything but flat, even terrain and is not sealed against moisture. This limits the deployment areas of OCULUS to flat indoor spaces like corridors, warehouse areas, and parking garages.

Controls: Robot system software is installed on the WiFi connected OCULUS laptop, and a remote control client runs via system web browser. Viewing and control apps are available for both iOS and Android powered devices. The picture below shows an example of the Android interface:

 

Video 

Currently, the video stream generated by OCULUS is for live viewing only, and is not recorded to the local machine. Live camera views can be seen by concurrent users. The video has no provision to be externally streamed or recorded by 3rd party video management software.

 

Cost

 

The OCULUS ROV can be purchased directly from Xaxxon for about $270 USD. This price does not include the central laptop/netbook component, and must be furnished seperately. The concept is designed to work with a number of different types of computers, and older laptops may be a good repurposed fit. A charging station is part of the purchase, and can be located adjacent to any common 120VAC outlet. Several options, including a chassis powered headlight assembly, can be added for additional cost.

Applications

For a pretty low cost - a few hundred dollars plus a laptop - security users can experiment with having a mobile robot patroller. While it is obviously not a guard or fixed camera replacement, users in large, flat spaces might find it useful to try out a few of these to complement their existing forces. It might allow them to see more areas without having to send out a person.

Some key aspects of performance may be lacking, but the flexibility and low cost of OCULUS make it an interesting consideration for stretched security budgets. 

1 report cite this report:

The Robot Security Ball (Orbii) 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...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Directory of 68 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
Assa Acquires LifeSafety Power on Sep 04, 2019
Assa Abloy is acquiring LifeSafety Power, adding to their growing collection of access control brands like Mercury, August, Pioneer Doors, and...
Mobile Access Control Guide on Aug 28, 2019
One of the biggest trends in access for the last few years has been the marriage of mobile phones and access cards. But how does this...
Wyze Image Quality Tested vs Axis, Hikvision And Nest on Aug 27, 2019
With Wyze's new AI feature, it is strong at analytics, but how good is the camera's image quality? Is it just as good as incumbents like Axis,...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
Maglocks Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 01, 2019
Maglocks divide access control specifiers perhaps more than any other component. Many are concerned about life safety codes, but others cite...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ONVIF Suspends Huawei on Sep 20, 2019
Huawei has been 'suspended', and effectively expelled, from ONVIF so long as US sanctions remain on the mega Chinese manufacturer. Inside this...
Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
Axis Perimeter Defender Improves, Yet Worse Than Dahua and Wyze on Sep 19, 2019
While Axis Perimeter Defender analytics improved from our 2018 testing, the market has improved much faster, with much less expensive offerings...
Directory of 68 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Uniview Prime Series 4K Camera Tested on Sep 18, 2019
Is the new Uniview 'Prime' better than the more expensive existing Uniview 'Pro'? In August, IPVM tested Uniview 4K 'Pro' but members advocated...
US Army Base To Buy Banned Honeywell Surveillance on Sep 17, 2019
The U.S. Army's Fort Gordon, home to their Cyber Center of Excellence, has issued a solicitation to purchase Honeywell products that are US...
Vivotek "Neural Network-Powered Detection Engine" Analytics Tested on Sep 17, 2019
Vivotek has released "a neural network-powered detection engine", named Smart Motion Detection, claiming that "swaying vegetation, vehicles passing...
Schmode is Back, Aims To Turn Boulder AI Into Giant on Sep 16, 2019
One of the most influential and controversial executives in the past decade is back. Bryan Schmode ascended and drove the hypergrowth of Avigilon...
Manufacturers Unhappy With Weak ASIS GSX 2019 And 2020 Shift on Sep 16, 2019
Manufacturers were generally unhappy with ASIS GSX, both for weak 2019 booth traffic and a scheduling shift for the 2020 show, according to a new...