So weird. This iRobot Packbot has a Situational Awareness Mast built-in, a surveillance system which can grow from 25 inches to 20 feet lifting 200 pounds, on its top configuration. The mechanism is very ingenious:
Developed for military and applications by Geosystems, the Situational Awareness Mast doesn't use a telescopic design to extend itself, which are very limited and can get extremely bulky and heavy in no time. In the case of the SAM-also called Zipper Mast-there are three metal rolls that assemble together in a triangle-like some kind of zipper-while going up, providing enough support and stability to lift objects up to 200 pounds. There are various models available:
• SAM 8, that goes from four inches to eight feet and can lift six pounds, enough for a video camera and other sensors.
• SAM 10, that goes up to 12 feet lifting 140 pounds, and costs $11,000.
• SAM 12/15, which raises from 15 inches to 15 feet with a 150 pounds weight limit.
• And the top-of-the-line SAM 20, that goes from 25 inches to 20 feet raising up to 200 pounds.