Unreal. 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.


[Hizook via Defense Tech]