Feeds

Hurlable 360° cam-grenades used by IDF in Gaza

UK MoD expects to have Wheel-2.0 operational soon

High performance access to file storage

Israeli war-tech boffins appear to have stolen a march on those of Blighty in the matter of the long-sought 360° wireless camera grenade, which can be hurled or shot through a door, window etc and so give combat troops a picture of what lies beyond.

To mild media fanfare, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced last November that such a device - dubbed "I-ball" - is under development by British designers.

"The technology behind I-Ball is an exciting new development that has very significant potential... particularly in difficult urban operations," said MoD tech chief Professor Andrew Baird.

"We are very excited about the technology's potential to help our troops," added Paul Thompson of Dreampact, the UK firm developing the cam-grenade with MoD funding.

However, when the I-Ball arrives (it was "in its early stages" at the end of 2008, apparently) it will not be new or exciting. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have such equipment ready to use, and indeed have used it.

According to the IDF website, the recent Gaza strip incursion by Israel - referred to as "Operation Cast Lead" - saw the combat baptism of a piece of kit called "Bull Island":

Bull Island, which is a camera shaped as a tennis ball that can be thrown into any building and transfers 360 degree imagery to the troops on the ground outside of the structure. This camera, as well as other robots, used by the IDF helped to identify booby-trapped houses, or buildings with armed terrorists, thus minimizing the risk of IDF casualties.

So it would appear that I-Ball or something very like it is already to be had. If we British taxpayers corporately believe that such a gizmo would save our troops' lives - and that after all is why we're developing I-Ball, apparently - we should just buy some Bull Islands. The Israelis would certainly sell - they're already supplying the British Army with surveillance drones.

Why, it's almost as though the MoD procurement budget was more about industrial subsidy than about equipping troops and saving lives. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.