When every second counts during emergencies such as wildfires, chemical spills, and environmental or natural disasters, getting first responders to the disaster to assess the situation is critical, but can take precious time. Squishy Robotics, Inc.’s air-deployable, shape-shifting sensor robots—coming out of the elite Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator—provide life-saving situational awareness about chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) threats so first responders and the public can make crucial decisions faster. Shaped like a geodesic ball, the Squishy Robots are equipped with six cameras, GPS, and various interchangeable chemical, biological, and radiological sensors that deliver data and 360-degree videos in situations where human access can be difficult or unsafe. For the first time, Squishy Robotics is making its shape-shifting robots available for pre-sale through its website, with product being delivered by the end of the year.
A spin-off of NASA research, when dropped 400-foot from a drone or 600-feet from a helicopter, the lightweight yet strong sensor robots can quickly provide first responders and HazMat teams with data from the ground, eliminating the need for responders to enter risky environments and reducing their exposure to unknown hazards. The company has created both stationary and mobile robots; the mobile version—still in beta—is capable of being remotely controlled to travel over uneven ground.