This Robotic Crab Will Soon Be Scavenging the Bottom of the Sea

by Owen James Burke

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The Crabster CR200 will be exploring the ocean depths in May 2014.

Although it can only trace the ocean floor at 10cm per second at best, this 1.3-meter-tall robotic crab, with its 30 individual motors, is the latest innovation in seafloor technology.

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Divers and propellor-powered vessels have always had a degree of trouble operating in rough seas, but the Crabster CR200, developed by the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), was influenced by the hydrodynamic anatomies of lobsters and crabs, which live in some of the most turbulent waters the planet has to offer, yet manage to remain in complete control of their movements.

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This robocrab, which uses sonar to detect objects of interest, is able to plunge to depths of 200 meters. Its first assignment will be hunting for ancient artifacts in the Yellow Sea, but it may take the place of divers in dangerous or hostile environments, too.

“CR200 will help divers or work instead of them in harsh environments. Although it t also could assist in locating underwater resources, carrying out underwater mining, and responding to oil spill incidents,” says lead researcher Bong Huan Jun.

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