Midterm Paper



Flying Sphere
Flying robot
Robot cell phone
Flying cell phone
Flying camera
Robot camera
Hover robot
Hover Sphere
Smart sphere



This new product; which is currently being referred to as seekers, is designed to package all of a persons mobile needs and have them readily available at all times. When I say mobile needs I’m referring to what people need while they are on the go, or away from their stationary dwelling. These items include things such as cellular services, portable camera, safety deterrents, and other convinces that we as humans have grown custom to having with in arms reach.

Many can relate to being on vacation with friends and having the perfect shot, but no one to snap the picture. The least important or the person that booked last is always left taking the picture. The seeker will eliminate that problem completely. With the ability to hover the seeker will simply snap any photo that you wish. The seeker has the ability to snap close ups that you may not be able to reach.

Certainly this product is much more than a flying camera. The camera is just one of the many amazing features that the seekers have. Being that the seeker maintains a set distance, the communication between the seeker and owner is done through a small ear piece and mic that attaches to the owners clothing. The seeker is equipped with the same. A mic; you may ask? Yes. You have the ability to communicate directly with the seeker providing wireless commands. The seeker will respond with either a verbal response or an action. The seeker has countless abilities and features that make life a bit simpler.



Hovering ability
One of the main functions of the seeker is the ability to hover and follow the owner everywhere they go, while having the ability to maintain a set distance without colliding with other objects. The technologies which will enable the seeker to avoid contact already exist and are pretty accessible. However when it comes to the physics of hovering, things get a bit more in depth. The word hover means to “To remain floating, suspended, or fluttering in the air”. To achieve this there must be a few factors in place. You first have to have lift. This has been accomplished in a couple ways. The first option is using a fan effect or propellor. This is mostly what you see in helicopters and toy hovering devices. A propeller is shapes so that the tips of the blade spin faster than the center. The blade

is shaped so that the tips are steep at the hub and shallow at the tip. This enables even thrust from tip to tip. To achieve hovering, a propeller will create a thrust of air below allowing it to lift the object upward. The amount of thrust created by a propeller depends on how fast and at what angle its blades cut through the air. This would appear to be the easiest way; however with propellers in close proximity of other things, that may lead to disaster.

It’s obvious that to achieve lift you must create a force below greater than the weight of gravity as well as the object. Another way of creating this is with magnetic force or Magnetic levitation. This is a science that has been experimented with for a long time. Using strong magnets you can achieve both control and lift. Magnetic pressure is used to counteract the effects of the gravity.  Certainly not to the degree of a free roaming robot; however it could certainly contribute to how the seekers work.




The Silverlit Z-Bot flying robot is operated by infrared remote control to fly forward, sideways, up and down.

Beacon Technology  – Beacon technology can be found in devices today such as the Roomba; which has the ability to seek out its charging dock and return to a set position. Beacons uses a set of IR (infered) beams which can be detected by assigning certain points with numbers; which is detectible by the object. This will be key technology to enable the seekers to identify its owner. Althogh this technology currently exist, it would need to be approve upon in order for the seeker to be able to reach it’s owner though possible obsticles.



Wireless communication:

Wireless communication is certainly an emerging technology that we see growing everyday. However the growth is much of the same. Although I will be using cellular technology, the days of the hand held devices will be no more. Theoretically the device will only switch from a hand held device to a hovering device. With the ability of two way communication, the device will use voice recognition as well as Bluetooth (or something similar). The voice recognition will enable the device to receive and understand commands only by its owner. The Bluetooth will enable calls and data to be transferred back to the owner. Both technologies are showing rapid improvements.


There are a couple of article that I read pertaining to some of the technologies that the seeker uses. While researching information on Magnetic levitation, I came across the term “Maglev”. This is is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles with magnets rather than using methods such as wheels, axles and bearings.


The trains do no rely on friction therfore the acceleration and deceleration is much more effeciant than the wheeled transportation. This train does require a huge amount of energy; only that to offset the drag. This technology allows the train to maintain its top speed more that the conventinal trains which makes it faster. It is also non effected by wheather. Currently there only two commercial maglev transport systems in operation, in Shanghi and Japan.

Another article that I read was pertaining to robots that help around the house. In my attempt to find information on a flying robot with these capibilities I cam across this. The robot was created by a company called RoboDynamics out of California. They called it Luna.



Luna is the personal expandable robot. Made from hardware and firmware this robot is also considered affordable. Luna has a Dual Core Atom 2 GHz processor, a Linux-based operating system, and up to 32 GB of storage. The robot is equipped with a LCD monitor and wireless and cellular capabilities. Much like the seeker the robot also has an 8-megapixel camera, and a 3D sensor. She runs on a 12-volt battery, for 4-8 hours per charge.

This article shows me that there is a market for the seeker and that it is something that people want. Although the Luna lacks a lot of the features that the seeker will possess, it was the closest thing that I could find which would provide me with insight on how I should proceed with the design and functionality of the seeker.


When we think of flying robots we can associate them with the drones that we use today in warfare. The have all of the communication abilities that the seeker will need; however how do we get that packaged down into the size of a baseball and make it accessible to the public. There is a New York Based company that was given $25 million dollars in order to come up with a robot to provide home security. With my research I’ve come across separate projects that have some of the features of the seeker but I have yet to find a product that has them all. 

Project Description: The Seekers will accommodate every function a person may need on the go; and more. The seeker is a baseball size hovering sphere that follows its owner everywhere they go. The look will be a shiny finish that is appealing to the eye. It will be made of light weight material and have a few LED lights that will be visible. The face will have a small touchscreen LCD display. The basic model will be equipped with the following features.

Cell phone service (ear piece /mic attachment) – This feature enable the owners to receive calls but eliminate the need to carry around a bulky object. Just like your current service the seeker will act as the device and receive the incoming calls. The calls will be transmitted to the owner via Bluetooth to a ear piece. The owner will simply speak to the caller through an attached mic. That is also how calls are made. A command is simply given to the seeker through the mic. You can even keep your same phone number!



HD Camera – In this day and age, everyone has a camera. Our lives revolve around them. Anything from safety, to social media a camera is an important item to have ready at all times. The seeker will be equipped with both HD video; which can be connected for live streaming, as well as the ability to take still shots. This feature can capture any moments and shots that the typical person may not be able to get to.

Safety Deterrent – Each seeker will also act as a guardian. I concluded that it was not a good idea to equip a flying robot with weapons and then sell it to the public. Therefore as opposed to a built in rocket launcher, the basic model will have a panic alarm that can be heard for miles, along with an unmistakablySOS light. This feature is sure to reduce crime.

Built in knowledge library – This is the best feature of them all. We all wish that we had the ability to know everything at all times. This is a characteristic that will surely get you anything that you desire. The seeker will have the ability to deliver this amazing ability. The seeker has the ability to store knowledge such as different, languages and landmarks that can be access simply by asking into your mic. Any information that is not uploaded can quickly be searched and delivered if you have a WiFi connection. You can also place the seeker into listen mode, so it hears a question; either by you or someone else, it will automatically deliver the answer to you seamlessly and undetected.

The ability to communicate with other seekers Being that the seekers will be the hottest selling item, everyone will have one. The seekers onboard memory bank can store information about you. For instances you can store information such as your name for a quick introduction to another person, via seeker. You can also store information such as a resume for quick delivery. Each seeker will have privacy settings therefore the “Public” information can be managed. By public I mean the information that can be read by other seekers. The seekers will make breaking the ice on an introduction much easier. Another great feature that this will enable is the ability to link you bank account to pay for items. The seeker can communicate with a credit card reader just like your card currently does; and simply deduct the amount from your linked account.

The timeline will be laid out as follows. For the upcoming weeks I will present a journal entry that will outline my weekly progress. I will resume the research on the technologies that will be associated with the seeker in order to construct a realistic prototype. I will then outline the main points to get them prepared for the final presentation. I will then begin the construction of the final deliverables. The deadline for all work is May 22nd.

Weeks from today
#1 This week I will spend researching the science of magnetic force and lift.

#2 This week I will spend researching any remaining technology involved with my   project

#3 This week I will spend outlining the main points for the presentation

#4 This week I will put together the presentation.

#5 This week I will work on constructing the deliverables

#6 This week I will work on constructing the deliverables

#7 This week I will work on constructing the deliverables

#8 This week I will prepare for the final presentation. All will be complete. 

The deliverables will consist of two pieces. I will construct a replica of the sphere out of plastic. I will equip it with the LED lights. I will then program a completely interactive game, using blender which will demonstrate how the seeker will work as well as some of the features.  With the game I will provide a key that will have a list of the features that can be demonstrated with a key stroke. Some of the features will include the follow feature, the camera feature and the cell phone feature. I will also include other surprises as long as time allows.







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2 Responses to Midterm Paper

  1. this reminds me of the The Bit from the original Tron

    strongest electromagnets known (look at the levitating frog link)

  2. Fabulous job!!! Look forward to deliverables!

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