Another is to use robots to test levels of toxicity after a suspected leak of harmful chemicals. Robots are even used to defuse bombs from a distance, so that risk to human life is minimised.
Another area where robots have started finding application is wildlife photography. Professional photographers take huge risks to life and limb in order to capture footage of lions, tigers and other Big Cats.
With the Beetlecam 2, photographers can hope to get closer to their targets without putting themselves at undue risk. If you haven’t already guessed it, the Beetlecam is a robotic camera. It is the brainchild of Will Burrand-Lucas, a wildlife photographer based in the UK.
The first versions of the beetlecam were like a buggy with a DSLR camera mounted on top. Will and his brother Matt used it to take pictures in Tanzania in 2009. They were successful, but also lost a camera to a lion’s powerful whack. In fact, the attack nearly destroyed the beetlecam itself.
In 2011, Will developed a “lion-proof” version and tested it in the Masai Mara. The results are truly spectacular images of animals in a close-up ground level perspective that is otherwise hard to replicate.
Beetlecam 2 will feature an armoured carapace made of aluminium and fibreglass and a really expensive remote controlled camera such as the Canon EOS 550D or Canon EOS 1Ds MK III.