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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.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Looks very clever but seems to be somewhat slow and cumbersome in the video. It may overcome some of the current problems experienced by rov's but at the expense of speed and manoeuvrability when in position. It would also appear to have shortcomings if vertical movement is required e.g. to move over a seabed obstruction or to move up the side of an installation to survey it's condition.

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  • This can be the greatest adventures one may every have to truly get the concept / fundamental all under one path for understanding the principle at hand.

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  • Maybe deliberately slow so when on on the sea bed it does not stir up too much silt to impare visability ?

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  • As a diver who has had very limited experience of ROVs I do not think it would be a great device in rocky terrains. Probably OK for flat sand or mud of solid texture.

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