Bouncing, Six-Lens Camera Ball Arms Cops With Panoramic View Of Dangerous Environments

A new device from an MIT alumnus will soon be helping police assess dangerous situations from a safe distance. The softball-sized explorer triggers its six cameras when tossed into a room. It then sends the images back to police, where they are rapidly stitched into a panoramic image for tactical assessment. The alumnus’ new company, Bounce, is gearing up to launch the Explorer for both police and rescue services.

MIT Bounce Explorer Camera
Image credit: MIT

The Explorer was initially designed in response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, after which rescuers had difficulty locating survivors trapped in the rubble. “I started looking into low-cost, very simple technologies to pair with your smartphone, so you wouldn’t need special training or equipment to look into these dangerous areas,” Bounce CEO Francisco Aguilar told MIT News.
With the help of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), Bounce chose to target its initial launch of the Explorer at police, with the goal of expanding to first responders down the road. Police often in situations that a device like the Explorer make safer by providing a clear picture of a dangerous area. Coated in rubber, the Explorer can bounce into a dark room, illuminate it with built-in LED lights, and begin shooting images. The resulting panoramic image appears on an officer’s smartphone, which means officers won’t need to carry extra gear. 

The Explorer could be bouncing into a dangerous situation near you in the near future. Bounce expects to officially release the product in July to police departments across the country. Subsequent versions of the Explorer will have additional sensors so it can provide information about carbon monoxide and radiation levels.
Tags:  security, Police