It just got more dangerous to be a bad guy. Remington, one of the world’s most experienced and highly respected maker of firearms, is about to introduce a hand-thrown ISR device. The Eye Ball R1 is a compact, wireless, 360° mobile display system, designed to be used in situations wherein law enforcement or military personnel need to see a situation before entering a building or floor (think Iraq). The Eye Ball R1, which is encased in rubber and weighs about four times as much as a softball, can be rolled, thrown, tossed, raised, or lowered next to the bad guys as the situation requires. It then transmits streaming video (including low light near infrared capability) and audio of the tactical situation to a Personal Display Unit (PDU) held by a team member. If the Eye Ball R1 lands upside-down, the operator can electronically flip the video to view things right-side-up. Battery powered, the Eye Ball will transmit for up to three hours on a charge.
The Eye Ball R1 was developed in Israel by Tel Aviv-based ODF Optronics and has already been a hit with the Israeli Defence Ministry. It was developed specifically for use by military Special Operations (SPECOPS), law enforcement, anti-terrorism/counterterrorism operations, and hostage rescue. Once deployed, the system provides real time video out to 25 yards away (with near infrared out to nine yards) and audio out to five yards, both of which are broadcast up to 200 yards to the PDU and/or to color monitors. The Eye Ball R1's camera completes a rotation every 15 seconds, yielding a 55-degree horizontal and 41-degree vertical field of view.
Other users are expected to be other emergency first responders such as firefighters, EMTs, and search-and-rescue teams. The Eye Ball can be put into a hazardous situation such as locating survivors in a collapsed building or one filled with toxic chemicals.
To be introduced first in the US and Canada, the device is expected to be introduced next in Europe. The Eye Ball will not be available to sale to the general public.
The operating frequency for audio and video is 2.4 GHz, with control at 902-928 MHz. Transmission is line of sight and can be interfered with by glass, wood, and concrete. The Personal Display Unit (PDU) can communicate with two Eye Balls at a time and has a 6.4” color screen.
The complete kit includes two Eye Ball R1s, one Training Ball, one PDU, two chargers, a cleaning kit, and adapters for lowering wire and pole/spike employment, all carried in a handsome, ruggedized carrying case. Options include a monopod, ground spike, PDU cover, duty belt, Eye Ball pouch, lowering wire pouch, and Eye Ball R1 canvas carrying case. According to the manufacturer, it can be dropped from a second-story window or flung against a concrete wall without being damaged. Remington will warrant the product for one year. Asher Gendelman, Director of Remington Technologies Division (Rockville, MD) said that while the R1 is not bullet-proof, if one deployed gets shot, the user immediately has a datum on the bad guys.
Gendelman noted that the R1 is just completing the Federal Communications Commission certification for wireless transmitter products. It is the first product from the new Remington Technologies Division, but will not be the last due to the ever growing market for rapidly deployable tactical devices used by law enforcement and military.
The R1 will first be sold to customers in the USA and Canada, and Remington is gearing-up to supply as many as customers want. Gendelman noted that the complete R1 kit will be sold for $4,800 and he expects to start shipping the R1 by the end of this quarter.
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