iRobot’s FirstLook Can be Thrown Around and Explored

November 26, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

iRobot, a company steeped in robotic lore, is out with another baby. This time they are handing out robots to throw!

That’s right. Named FirstLook, it is a surveillance robot of five pounds that resembles a tank, with tank threads and small mechanical flippers to dislodge it when it gets stuck.

iRobots were famous for their Roomba vacuum, floor cleaning robots that found its way to many homes. But FirstLook is another genre, not intended to clean or strut around a house.

The little guy is for a more aggressive environment, like hostile situations where someone cannot simply walk into. FirstLook is waterproof up to a meter and can prevail in environments with mercury rising to 130 degrees.

The robot has been designed to be thrown, so you can hurl it into an unsafe building to check whether anyone needs rescuing. The small robot does make a big impact when it hits the ground after being thrown, something you wouldn’t expect from a tiny lightweight robot.

FirstLook has a remote control, which would remind some of the Wii U GamePad. There’s a 5-inch display through which you can see, or rather the robot sees and feeds you the images on the 800×480 display.

The robot has four eyes, sporting a camera on each side. All the cameras have tilt and pan capabilities, so you can sweep over an area pretty well.

FirstLook, admittedly, isn’t for the average household, but then iRobot designs their products not for normal use. FirstLook can find application in the military or rescue operations or some other area where it would be too dangerous to have a human’s.

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