The future of home security is here.
Orbii is a game-changing new home security solution emerging from a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that’s captured attention from CNET, BBC and more.
With a fresh, fun take on home security, Orbii negates the need for multiple cameras throughout the house and moves beyond the need for static home security systems. Previously known as Sensorsphere, the Orbii promises to revolutionize home security technology with a robotic, modular, remotely controlled platform that has the ability to rove around your house like a Star Wars droid.
Does the Orbii live up to the hype? In this article we’ll examine the design, construction and applications of the Orbii platform and provide a breakdown of the key features offered by this exciting new technology.
What is the Orbii?
The Orbii is a mobile, spherical robot home security system. Much like the BB-8 droid in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Orbii moves around your house by shifting its center of gravity with an in built gyroscope, rolling around much like a hamster in a ball.
Orbii offers wide array of smart home integration, home security tools and fun applications. Orbii can be used as a robotic watchdog to roam around the house, communicate with loved ones and interact with pets, or scare off intruders with a range of alarms and warnings.
The core Orbii system consists of a modular external shell with a range of diagnostic tools, cameras and sensors, which can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app.
Frustrated by the limitations of multiple camera home security installations with their high price point and coverage issues, the creators of Orbii have designed the Orbii system as a driveable, internet connected camera that a user can drive from room to room as a cost effective home security solution.
The Origins of Orbii
The Orbii project began in early 2015, founded by Omar and Ozair Barlas. The Barlas family has over 15 years combined experience in managing product development, corporate governance and project management.
Backed up by a team of software developers, electronic engineers, strategic advisors and venture capitalists, Orbii launched in 2015 and quickly found funding from the Directorate of DHS Science and Technology Division. Research and development produced a working prototype by September 2015, and Orbii unveiled their project to the public at large during CES New York in November 2015.
2016 for Orbii began with prototype refining and a second updated prototype was revealed at 2016’s CES Las Vegas and New York Tech Day, at which point the Orbii team decided to take their product to popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Within just over a month from May to June 23rd, the Indiegogo campaign received over 124% of their funding goal from several hundred backers, achieving $47,815 USD total funds raised.
The Orbii team is now in the process of DFM & tooling their product, and aims to finish testing and pre-production samples by September 2016 with mass production commencing in December. Shipping and retail distribution is slated for Q1 2017.
Design & Construction
Early in their design process the Orbii team was approached by first-responder services such as police forces, firefighters and hazmat teams.
The first response teams were interested in the application of the Orbii as a remotely controlled environmental monitoring solution that allowed responders to investigate potential hazards while reducing personal risk.
In response the Orbii team refined their design to include interchangeable panels that can be upgraded to include environmental and atmospheric sensors, allowing first responders remotely navigate into dangerous events and obtain situational awareness. THe first Indiegogo campaign has the goal of completing a successful consumer version to later be adapted into a commercial version.
Five inches in diameter and weighing just 1.lbs, the Orbii is surrounded by a hard white polycarbonate shell that houses all of the critical core components.
Controlled by an Intel Edison 500MHz processor with 1GB RAM and two 3.7V 500mAh batteries, the Orbii has over one hour patrol time before it needs to return to the custom-made charging platform to recharge.
The eyes of the Orbii come in the shape of a ELP H264 720p HD camera with a build in high-quality MEMS microphone, complete with motion detection technology and a 190 degree viewing angle.
The Orbii has been designed with modular interchangeability in mind, and users can customize their Orbii to best fit their individual home security needs.
The 8 separate external modules can be alternated with tools such as thermal cameras, environmental sensors, infrared emitters, and laser pointers.
A module with a Bosch BME 680 sensor is available, allowing users to observe variables in their home such as humidity, gas, temperature and pressure, and a Figaro CO2 sensor even allows users to measure the atmospheric composition of their homes.
The Orbii is controlled via an easy to use application that connects to the platform via wifi, either from your home or anywhere in the world you can find an internet connection. The app is available for both iOS and Android, and offers features such as simple joystick controls, live video streaming, real time notifications, sensor readings and access to cloud storage for recorded information.
What can the Orbii do?
The Orbii is designed primarily for home security. Once an Orbii owner leaves the house, the Orbii can be set to send a notification via the smartphone app if it detects any sound or motion above a pre set threshold.
Orbii is smart enough to recognize the difference between normal noises such as pets and general motion and noises such as glass breaking, smoke alarms of a crying baby. Orbii can even be instructed to map the entire home with positional sensors, allowing users to instruct the Orbii to patrol the home while they are out.
Pricing and Availability
Orbii plans to make their product available via retail in the first quarter of 2017, but it’s currently available for order from the Indiegogo crowdfunding page. The featured package is priced at $199 USD + shipping for the Orbii sphere with a wireless charging stand, but there are multiple options for three or even four Orbii spheres if you’d like to protect your home with a battalion of laser-equipped security droids.
Indiegogo campaign backers anticipate shipment of the first wave to commence in December 2016.