Japanese Flying Ball Could Be the Future of Aerial Camera Systems

Japan’s Ministry of Defense has unveiled an amazing “Spherical Flying Machine”: a 42-inch remote controlled ball that can zip around in any direction at ~37mph. Built using off-the-shelf parts for about $1,400, in Internet is abuzz over the potential applications, which include military reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations. What we’re most interested in, however, is the device’s potential as an aerial camera for things like sports photography and combat photojournalism.

As you can see in the video above, the ball has a built in gyroscopes that allow it to stay stable in the air — perfect for keeping a camera level. Maybe if the technology takes off, we’ll start seeing flying ball cameras capturing footage at sporting events instead of cameras hung from cables (e.g. Skycam):

(via TechCrunch)

Image credit: Illustration by Cablecam International

  • Anonymous

    I want one meow.

  • typo

    42 cm

  • Martosc, [Gm]

    Imagine the possibilities…

  • Bartosz Twaróg

    It is very dubious that it will replace cameras like skycam. Those flying things are very prone to any change in air pressure (atmosphere), hence, plenty of vibrations and floating footage can accompany usage of such devices.

  • Alan Dove

    What, no Johnny Sokko jokes?

  • Pcuenin

    Also the future of robot overlords…. kind of makes me think of terminator for some reason.

  • Robert

    Consider this a prototype.


  • Adam Harney

    Possibility number one; make a smaller ball that can identify danger and other threats and either call for help or advise it’s master on what to do. Potentially we could be using these to protect our children.

  • flipicaneze

    Shut up and take my money!!