By Olivia Johnson
May 5, 2016
The SparkFun RedBot Sensor – Wheel Encoder could potentially help investigative journalists significantly when they are out in the field reporting. At times,investigative reporting may take some maneuvering mentally and physically, with the Wheel Encoder sensor at least the physical aspect could get easier.
The Sensor works by detecting the movement of the wheels so that the operator can know where the robot is. This is done through the movement of small teeth that is connected to a motor, which is reflected off of infrared light, according to Sparkfun.com. By measuring the light, the operator can tell how far away the robot is and how fast the wheels on the robot are turning. Wires on the robot connected back to the robot chassis is how this information is shared to the user.
These robots can have cameras or video recorders on them and can be sent inside a building, office, parking lot or facility to get information that journalists would not be able to get otherwise, a sort of candid camera approach. An easier operation of the robots and being able to track them more efficiently will help shed light on people, organizations, and companies that may not always be doing the right thing. Thus, when on these investigative searches it is imperative to know where the robot is at all times as to not alert someone or get caught. By using this it can make investigative reporting more efficient and really give the journalist and the people a more in-depth truth about the issue at hand.