There are at least two companies battling it out for the throwable camera market, which in its nascent stages consists of firefighters, emergency responders and the military, and which I believe will eventually expand into the construction, HVAC and building inspection industries. What's interesting is the very different form factors pursued by each company's design teams.
Massachusetts-based Bounce Imaging is going with a softball-sized sphere peppered with multiple cameras:
Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based competitor Recon Robotics has opted for a wheeled barbell-like design featuring a single camera:
The panoramic view afforded by Bounce's ball seems to provide superior situational awareness, but I suspect the drive mechanisms are more complicated than in Recon's Throwbot, which seems like it would be easier to repair in the field. Our question to you designers is, which form factor would you pursue if tasked with meeting the demands shown in the video? Or is there a third form factor of your own devising that you think superior?
Lastly, if these devices start to trickle down to the consumer sector—where homeowners can toss these up on the roof or under the house to inspect for damage, for instance—I predict we're going to see a new breed of Funniest-Home-Videos-style clips: POV shots of hapless dads getting hit in the crotch by these things.
"It never gets old!"