We’ve all seen robots in movies and are amazed at how they have “Artificial Intelligence” to think for themselves. Robots in the real world require programming in order to perform actions.
Take the Roomba, the automated vacuum cleaner, which will sweep up dust and debris on your floor, carpet and any other hard floor surface. This little robot is able to learn the layout of your home, avoid obstacles, avoid falling off the stairs, and even navigate back to its charging station when its batteries need charged. Sure the Roomba is helpful but there are robots out there that perform dirty duties such as air strikes on known terrorists and even spying.
Meet the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications system, or PARC, created by CyPhy Works. The PARC is essentially a flying drone that is able to provide long term persistent stare capabilities. Basically it’s a flying spy device that is able to stay in air indefinitely. What makes the PARC different from all other drones is that it remains in constant communication with its operators and is powered from the ground and the flight duration is not limited by battery life. Video, power and communications are carried over a microfilament system.
In the event that the PARC loses communications or power over the microfilament system, it has a backup battery and automated systems that will guide the drone safely to its launch site. In conjunction with being able to fly up to 1,000 feet above the ground, the PARC system has on-board optical systems that are equivalent to the Predator drone system used by the U.S. military.
CyPhy Works has also created a second smaller drone, the EASE (Extreme Access System for Entry). This robot is designed for inspection and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) operations. EASE can be a critical system when performing search and rescue missions, building clearing, or civil infrastructure inspection.
There are drones available to the home consumer with similar capabilities as the PARC system. For example, the Parrot AR Drone.