On TV Tokyo’s economy news program, World Business Satellite, this new flying spherical machine called the Globular Aviation Object (Kyukei Hikou Tai) was introduced. Created by the Japan Defense Agency’s Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI), it’s the only flying sphere that exists according to WBS. It’s about the size of a soccer ball and has a maximum speed of 60 km/h (approximately 37 mph).
One distinct feature of the Globular Aviation Object, is that it can make sharp turns and navigate through narrow areas. Because of it’s shape, it is able to stop by rolling on the ground. It is also capable of operating with a camera which TRDI is hoping to use in the future for scouting areas that are difficult for humans to navigate as well as for aiding in the rescuing of disaster struck areas. Currently, they’re working on an auto-pilot option.
Interesting fact: all the materials for this high-tech sphere was bought at Akihabara and the production cost was only 110,000 yen ($1377). Pretty crazy that even the government’s shopping at Akihabara.