ZipperMast: Able to spy over tall buildings with a weird hum
Geosystems Situational Awareness Mast (aka Zippermast) from Travis on Vimeo.

This crazy looking thing could be hunting/killing you this year if iRobot has their say. It’s essentially a periscope attached to an iRobot Packbot that, as you can plainly see, can push a camera eight feet into the air. Called the Zipper Mast or the Situational Awareness Mast, it’s a pretty freaky looking device.

The Situational Awareness Mast (SAM, also known as a Zipper Mast) from Geosystems Inc. is a telescoping linear actuator that has a unique property — it’s stroke length is an order of magnitude greater than its nominal height! For example, the SAM8 is a 10 lb device with a stroke length (8ft) that is 24 times it’s nominal height (4 inches)! This can be used to vertically translate a robot’s sensor suite for better visibility while still allowing for a low profile. Read on for information on the different Zipper Mast variants, the patent describing the system, and an exclusive video of a Zipper Mast on an iRobot Packbot!

Imagine if this thing came through your toilet. Hello, nurse!