HAVERHILL — Imagine a situation where rescuers are trying to reach people trapped beneath collapsed ceilings and walls. They lower a specialized camera on a tether and it gives them a panoramic view of the people who are trapped and the space they are in, even while the camera is spinning or bouncing around.
Chances are that camera is being built in Haverhill.
Lightspeed Manufacturing in the Ward Hill Business Park is building specialized security and tactical surveillance cameras for Bounce Imaging Inc. of Waltham.
Bounce Imaging recently signed a five-year contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection worth up to $15 million, which includes the purchase of its Explorer Unleashed 2.0 cameras — a 4G-LTE-enabled camera that offers instant 360-degree situational awareness in a softball-size design.
The company’s products are used by the military, multiple branches of law enforcement, rescue personnel and other organizations and offer a unique system of multiple lenses that stitch together images even when the spheres are in motion.
Lightspeed specializes in making and repairing printed circuit boards used in robots, drones, medical equipment and in-flight entertainment systems, and is also building all of Bounce’s camera products, including three versions of its sphere-shaped camera systems, according to Lightspeed President Rich Breault.
“We are also starting a new Bounce Canine product that will be assembled in Haverhill as well,” Breault said. “Not only has this helped maintain our workforce, we do expect to continue to hire additional staff to support not only the Bounce product growth, but several other expanding customers as well.”
The cameras range anywhere in price from $3,800 to $6,000, depending on the features.
As one example of how the sphere-shaped cameras are used, instead of government inspectors clambering into shipping containers to determine their contents, Bounce Imaging’s cameras can be mounted to the end of a pole then inserted into a container to provide a 360-degree view, even in the dark, company officials said.