A robotic black ball, originally designed for use on Mars, could be used to catch burglars.

The device acts as a high-tech security guard capable of detecting an intruder thanks to radar and infra-red sensors.

Once alerted, the 2ft black ball can summon help, sound an alarm or pursue the intruders, taking pictures, at speeds of up to 20mph.

It can go faster than a human being on foot and can still give chase over mud, snow and water, reports the Telegraph.

It was originally designed by scientists at the University of Uppsala in Sweden to survey the surface of Mars.

Nils Hulth, co-founder of Rotundus, the company which is marketing the ball, said it was especially well-suited to patrolling perimeter fences.

“It is extremely light, which is why it moves so fast,” Mr Hulth said.

While the current version can only raise the alarm, it could be adapted to corner an intruder if the customer wanted, Mr Hulth added.

More here.