Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

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Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2011-06-01 04:45

Designation: IDS-8 Saw Whet Owl Personal Recon Droid

Purpose: To create a small droid not unlike the aged and venerable fly eye design. The primary difference with the Saw Whet Owl comes in the form of it's slightly increased size and enhanced features. The Fly Eye was designed purely as an infiltration and spy type droid for undercover agencies such as Imperial Intelligence. By contrast, the Saw Whet is meant to provide the user with an extra set of eyes and ears with enhanced thermal and night vision.

Soldiers will find this droid useful as a powerful recon tool, able to act as an extra, expendable and very mobile set of eyes. The uses for this droid are near limitless. From scouting ahead to check for ambushes to finding alternate routes or even just keeping watch over a surrounding area from a high vantage point.

Application: The Saw Whet Owl uses a tiny repulsorlift engine that produces only 2 dB of sound at maximum speed. This engine gives the Saw Whet a maximum ceiling of 20 meters above the ground or flat surface and gives it incredible agility and speed, allowing it to dart around much like a flying insect. Furthermore, its small size makes it a very difficult target to hit.

The Saw Whet has been given a small optics package including thermal/nightvision photoreceptor with 20x zoom and a small yet powerful holocamera with a 50x zoom. A small microphone can pick up sounds as quiet as 15 dB from as far as 10 feet away and project them clearly to the operator. They are all connected to a small rotating ball pivot which allows for full 180 degree up and down movement. Coupled with the repulsor and it's mobility, the user will be able to see just about everything from any possible angle.

Using a tightbeam antenna, the Saw Whet transmits everything it perceives to the operator who is able to watch via a HUD built into their helmet or through a special visor in the event the person doesn't wear a helmet normally. The droid is controlled via joystick, wrist top computer, datapad or even voice commands, a tiny droid brain able to follow basic orders such as "follow me", "hold position" or "look around the corner", just to list three examples. It won't be able to carry out more complicated tasks such as "perform a full sweep of the perimeter" as it doesn't have the memory capacity to know what the perimeter is in a particular instance. Because of its size and the use of the tightbeam transmission, this droid can be controlled from about three-quarters of a kilometer away.

The most expensive component of this droid is the microrepulsor but even that only clocks in at 50 credits. The other components make up the remainder of the cost to bring the total to ~100 credits making this a quick, easy and inexpensive droid to produce in vast quantities and deploy on a widespread scale.

Heat problems are less of an issue in the Saw Whet than in the Fly Eye thanks to its slightly larger size. The extra room and layout affords the Saw Whet to keep the critical and heat sensitive electronics away from the heat generating repulsor. Heat sinks on the back of the unit help disperse the heat, preventing the device from overheating.

Schedule:
1 Week prototyping
1+ Weeks testing

Visual Description: A really small droid about 10 cm tall, 3 cm wide and 4 cm deep. As for looks... Not a clue in this regard. To be honest, I am tempted to make this thing look like it's name sake as they are really tiny for an owl. But yeah, if anyone has a really epic pic that isn't a Fly Eye droid, I'm totally for it.

Technical Specifications:

Model: IDS-8 Saw Whet Owl Micro-Probe Droid
Type: Individual Recon Drone
Scale: Character (tiny)
Cost: 100 (as shown)
Size: 10 centimeters
Shields: None
Armour: 0.1 RU (personal scale)
Weapons: None
Special: One basic, general purpose holocamera with a 50x magnification and one thermal/nightvision photoreceptor with a 20x magnification. 1 Audio-pickup microphone. Tightbeam transmitter/receiver.

Weaknesses:

Very fragile - It can be dropped and survive impact from up to 10 feet but it won't survive a blaster hit or even a good whack with a datapad.

Limited operational range - Designed more to provide soldiers and even agents a means of quick, remote recon without unnecessarily exposing the agent to potential ambushes.

Limited flight ceiling - Microrepulsor cannot handle high altitudes (beyond 20 meters) above a solid surface.

No walking or climbing ability - To make room for the various imagifiers while keeping overall size very small, extra bits such as legs have been left out of the design. It can fly, why does it need to walk?

Proposed Upgrades:

Add an X-Ray imageifier as found on some sniper scopes.

Decrease size even further.

Increase power to the tightbeam transmitter/receiver to increase operational range.

Increase flight ceiling.
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Jake Hagel
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Re: Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Jake Hagel » 2011-06-01 11:44

The critical thing on this project looks to be this: smaller, lighter, without sacrificing basic capabilities.

What are the basic capabilities? A camera, microphone, and transmitter/receiver. That's all you need. Add in a battery and a repulsor for power and mobility. Wrap it in the thinnest, lightest material you can get away with. Screw appearance, who needs it? This is going to look like an ugly lump of electronics and who cares?

Something that may be useful though, and perhaps you'd want to think about adding, is the capability to attach itself to a wall or a ceiling and stay there for a couple hours, just transmitting what it sees and hears. How? I dunno, suction cup? A piece of tape? Be creative! Just make sure it's cheap and light.

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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2011-06-01 16:12

Jake wrote:The critical thing on this project looks to be this: smaller, lighter, without sacrificing basic capabilities.
I know I could probably make it 3 x 6 cm like the Fly Eye, but to me, it sounds like that device has a very poor camera and I'm aware I shouldn't be able to add a thermal imager and what not without having to bulk it up a wee bit. I hope 10 cm isn't too big because I really don't know what a reasonable scaling size is anymore.
Jake wrote:What are the basic capabilities? A camera, microphone, and transmitter/receiver. That's all you need. Add in a battery and a repulsor for power and mobility. Wrap it in the thinnest, lightest material you can get away with. Screw appearance, who needs it? This is going to look like an ugly lump of electronics and who cares?
Asthetics are 75% of what a person judges something on. If it doesn't look presentable or even usable, they won't buy it, plain and simple. There's an old saying "there's no accounting for taste" which holds true for anything and everything. Besides, if someone wants to make an image of a small black box with a camera lens on it, I'll use that since that was the first thing that came to my mind when you suggested the project and said "about the size of a deck of cards". Heck, even just make it look like a box that could store a deck of cards with a tiny lens on it!

I forgot to mention that the Saw Whet is powered by a small energy cell capable of about 16 hours of contineous use and the material is little more than a thin, lightweight metal (like the SW version of aluminium) which keeps the weight down. Add in a bit of silicone for the circuit boards, copper for the wire connections, some diodes and resistors and what not and voila.
Jake wrote:Something that may be useful though, and perhaps you'd want to think about adding, is the capability to attach itself to a wall or a ceiling and stay there for a couple hours, just transmitting what it sees and hears. How? I dunno, suction cup? A piece of tape? Be creative! Just make sure it's cheap and light.
The Scarab Assassination Droid used tiny magnets to climb surfaces (metallic ones). Given how they seem to be so widespread (used in just about everything from starships to buildings), I imagine one could simply glue a magnet to it and let the droid stick itself wherever it pleases.

The Fly Eye used clawed gripper legs... That might work for this if we simply used a small clawed gripper located on the top of the droid?

Failing that, a person could simply use duct tape. Roll it into a loop, let it fly itself into a surface (or just place it there) and voila, instant camera spike!
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Re: Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2011-07-08 20:22

Pending any other comments/criticism or the like, I'll move into the prototyping stage:

The tiny droid buzzed around outside, quietly entering a small hanger where the various ships belonging to the Silver Infinity Network were parked. Walking in its wake, Luciana was busy staring at the small wrist-top computer on her right forearm. She was able to see exactly what the small droid did and right now it was staring at Viper as well as three other pilots who were busy talking with each other. The audio crackled a little but otherwise came through loud and clear on the computer, Luciana not seeing a reason to use the earpiece. Had she been in unfriendly territory or even just out in general public, she would probably be using a datapad with wireless capabilities and an earpiece. Imagine the possibilities, she thought happily to herself, already envisioning some ISIS agent, maybe even her sister, pretending to be reading a report when they were instead secretly controlling a very tiny remote observation droid.

"So, did you hear about the version two Vipers we'll be getting soon?" one of the pilots asked aloud.

Viper grinned. "I can't wait. Apparently they fixed the cannon issue and even gave it ion cannons and increased warhead magazines!"

"Seems a little overkill," another pilot shrugged, indifferent to the idea.

"Well, I'm looking forward to them," Viper folded her arms across her chest. "It's nice to work for someone who is actually willing to invest in our protection rather than constantly give us substandard equipment and expect us to adapt. Damn New Republic hasn't made any real significant changes to their space force in years while the Feds are ramping theirs up by leaps and bounds. If not for Lucie, I'd probably be flying a TIE right-" She cut herself off as her eyes glanced up suddenly, her gaze falling directly into the lens of the small little droid that was hovering over them. A bird had caught her attention at first as it few in and landed on the ledge high above but then her eyes fell upon the tiny droid. "What's that?" she asked.

Luciana, realizing the little device was spotted, quickly tried to maneuver it away. It had a good speed to it as she let it fly away, hiding behind the hull of a Raptor transport that was close by just before the other pilots could look up and spot it. "I don't see anything." The microphone was still picking up sound though it had become somewhat muffled.

"It just flew behind the ship," Viper began.

Creeping back towards the group, Luciana admired the fine level of control the small repulsor offered as she inched the device forward.

"I didn't hear anything... I think you're spacing out Suna. You should get some rest."

"Shut up, I know what I saw!" The droid reappeared just in time for Luciana to catch the woman playfully punch someone in the shoulder.

I'm beginning to love this thing, Luciana mused as she had always wondered what people were like when not in her presence. Pulling the droid back, she retreated it back to where she stood, just outside the hanger. With her right hand outstretched, she watched the tiny little box land neatly in the palm of her metal hand. It barely weighed a thing. I wonder what other fun things I can do with it?
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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2011-09-02 18:13

Luciana looked with no small amount of pride at the end result of the diminutive droid. It had gone through a slight redesign but was still hardly befitting of any sort of animalistic name. It did still retain numerous similarities however...

The addition of a small gripper claw added a bit of extra sophistication and cost to the droid. Since most surfaces in the galaxy were made of metal, the small magnet in the gripper claw could do the brunt of the work and not cause a significant impact on the energy cell.

As usual, she hoped the Federation would find something like this useful, especially as they had invested considerably in the larger field support droids for their infantry squads and platoons. This would give them a much smaller and stealthy observation platform with all the necessary features to give them the necessary intel, enabling their stormtroopers to scout out an area without putting anyone in harms way. The same held true for SINs mercs and Luciana hoped this would usher in a new era of battlefield intelligence.

She had tweaked the design and instead of making it a box, it was now a cylinder with a rounded head that was able to rotate a full 360 degrees, not unlike what was found on the iconic R-series astromech droids. It further gave the illusion that this thing was just like its animal namesake minus the wings. The holocameras were position on the head which was also uniquely shaped, the "face" of the droid parabolic in order to help focus the sound into the microphone, allowing this droid to detect even the tiniest sounds at considerable distance. Nature had a lot of very innovative things and that was one particular feature Luciana found tremendously useful for this droid.

The gripper claw was on the flat bottom and the interior of the tiny droid contained the other components such as the powercell and repulsor drive. The tiny droid brain in it would be able to follow the most rudimentary commands but, like its much larger, combat capable cousins, it wouldn't be able to cope with complex situations which was more or less the point as she was more intending this thing to be used on a personal scale, controlled by a remote operator close by who needed real-time information about their immediate surroundings. Because of its relatively inexpensive cost, every single soldier on the field could be equipped with one of these.

Luciana's only disappointment was that she couldn't keep the cost as low as she would have liked, the hundred credits increasing by forty percent. She might have been able to reduce those costs if she used more basic and lower quality holocameras which wouldn't have been nearly as good as what she had created now.

Her head rested on her folded arms atop her desk, the woman staring at the very small droid for a while longer. In all, she was pleased with the end result though she had to fight with herself to not include a speaker to have the thing "hoot".

Saw Whet Owl Micro-Probe Droid wrote:Model: IDS-8 Saw Whet Owl Micro-Probe Droid
Type: Individual Recon Drone
Scale: Character (tiny)
Cost: 140 (as shown)
Size: 10 centimeters
Shields: None
Armour: 0.1 RU (personal scale)
Weapons: None
Special: One basic, general purpose holocamera with a selectable wide angle / 50x magnification and one thermal/nightvision photoreceptor with a 20x magnification. 1 Audio-pickup microphone. Tightbeam transmitter/receiver. 1 small magnetic gripper claw for holding onto surfaces.

Dimensions: A cylinder 10 cm tall and 4 cm in diameter with a small domed head on top not unlike what an R2-series astromech has.
Power: 1 energy cell (replaceable, lasts 24 hours on single charge assuming full flight during that time. Can last 60 days on standby mode)
Operational Range: ~ 750 meters (depending on terrain and obstacles)
Transmission Range: 5 to 10 kilometers depending on receiving equipment.
Flight Ceiling: 30 Meters from any solid surface.
Maximum Speed: 12 km/h

Visual Description: Imagine an R2-series droid, reduced to the dimensions above, the legs removed and able to fly.
This concludes this project. Final specs are as shown above.
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Re: Saw Whet Owl Recon Droid

Post by Tavish McFini » 2011-09-14 19:10

PROJECT STATUS: Approved and Completed.

You know, I wonder why I never thought of this project before...

For future reference, this droid can be found in Luciana's Bio / Inventory List.
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