Robot crab tests its sea legs
Seabed exploration is set to get a leg up with Crabster CR200, a crab-like hexapod robot developed in South Korea.
Led by principal researcher Bong Huan Jun, the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) team has developed Crabster to survey and inspect subsea structures and shipwrecks around the Korean Peninsula.
Crabster has six legs for mechanical contact with seabed, and its two forward legs work also as robotic arms for underwater manipulation, picking up objects for storage inside a frontal compartment.
The remotely operated hexapod overcomes tidal currents by controlling the posture of its streamlined body and legs, and low visibility is alleviated with 10 optical cameras and a long-range scanning sonar which scans up to 200m.
Crabster has been in development for the past two years and is set to undertake its first mission next month at depths of up to 200m.