The active scope camera is a rescue robot that is designed for the purpose of searching for victims left behind in collapsed buildings. The scope camera can actively penetrate narrow paths as small as 3cm wide using a unique thrust mechanism and can take pictures using the camera mounted to the front of the scope. The cable of this scope camera is covered in cilia, and as
the cilia oscillate up and down, thrust motion is generated. Conventional scope cameras tend to quickly get caught,
but since this camera is able to project a thrusting force, it is able to work itself free and
move forward on its own. Because the entire cable is covered in cilia, thrust force can be generated along the entire cable, and even when traversing through unevenly shaped rubble, the scope camera can propel itself forward if part of the cable is in contact with the surface. The length of the cable that can be inserted is 5m or 8m and the front end is equipped with an oscillating mechanism The direction that the scope camera is traveling can be dramatically changed by twisting the part of the cable that is near the operator. Right now we’re working with companies that we’ve
formed agreements with and are moving forward with developments geared at practical
applications sometime next year (2009). Prototypes are now being used by fire departments
and FEMA troops in the United States, and we intend to make improvements based
on the feedback we receive from those groups.