The Rosphere is a spherical robot that can propel itself over uneven ground and may one day be rolling up for work in fields to monitor and tend crops. Spherical robots are not new, there have been a number built over the years for use in military operations, security, and experiments in space exploration.
Rosphere approach is to take the simplicity of the sphere to make a robot that is low cost and a bit more general purpose. The spherical shape gives the robot the ability to handle rough terrain, yet is safe to use around humans and delicate crops. Similar to a hamster ball, the Rosphere uses an eccentric pendulum rotating on an axle to roll and steer itself.
UPM sees the main application for Rosphere being in precision agriculture. Instead of humans tending crops by broadcasting pesticides and fertilizers and dealing with a field as a whole, small robots can tend the individual plant like a gardener. Rosphere would be able to move about crops without damaging them, making close-up examinations of local conditions and precisely applying pesticides and fertilizers