Bubble

The Concept

The Bubble is a compact articulated skid-steer robot capable of climbing vertical or curved walls. It’s equipped with four rubber coated wheels and a powerful electric fan that makes it stick to most surfaces so it can carry out special tasks.

The Background

This concept idea was brought to my attention by Abhishek Roy, one of the industrial designers I work with. The Bubble has already made it to the prototype phase since Abhishek and his team started printing and assembling parts a few months ago.

How it Works

The Bubble would be around the size of a cleaning robot like the Roomba. The combination of rubber coated wheels and electric fan would allow it to climb vertical walls as well as curved, rounded surfaces. This would allow it to move up and down walls to perform tasks like cleaning windows, filming scenes, or repairing surfaces. The Bubble could also be used to detect structural fissures.

A thermal imaging system would help detect temperature fluctuations, and a LIDAR imaging system could be installed on the Bubble to map parts of a city or the building it’s climbing. The Bubble could also detect equipment problems and make small repairs like welding parts back together or applying a small amount of silicone to patch up holes. Its ability to stick to even curved walls also permits the use of the Bubble on high-maintenance, large objects, such as airplanes fuselage.

The Bubble would need to be made with ultra-light materials. A small but powerful electric turbine would generate enough pull towards the wall the surface. Four micro-geared electric motors powered by Li-Po batteries would be used to move the robot around.

The batteries would continuously be monitored by the vehicle so it would automatically return to its recharging station when necessary. In case of failure, a small parachute could be deployed to avoid any injuries to pedestrians and reduce the risk of damaging the unit.

Potential Market

The Bubble could be sold to inspect airplanes or skyscrapers. The television and movie industry could also purchase them to shoot scenes from new viewpoints. Of course, they could be fitted with a GoPro camera and sold to consumers too. Versions with special suspensions could be adapted to climb a house and clean gutters.

The Designer

The idea and images of the Bubble concept were created by Abhishek Roy and his team. Abhishek is the founder of Lunatic Koncepts, a design lab based in India. Abhishek’s team also created the renderings for the Subrocket car and the Korbiyor autonomous electric hearse concept.

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