South Korea goes into the commercial production of a new seabed walking machine that mimics the design of crabs to enable stable movements along the sea floor in strong currents and harsh conditions.
The maritime ministry said Kyeongin Tech, the producer of precision equipment for military use and actuator, would be licensed to produce Crabsters developed by the state-controlled Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering. A contract would be signed on Tuesday.
With state support, the institute has developed two types of six-legged Crabsters -- shallow water class CR200 with a maximum operable depth of 200 meters and abyssal class CR6000 which can operate at a maximum depth of 6,000m. They can swim like turtles and transform the front two legs into robotic manipulators to perform underwater works.
CR200 is 2.4 meters long and 1.3m tall. Unlike propeller-driven craft, it is designed to work well in fierce tides, unlike propeller-driven craft. Creeping along the ocean floor like crabs, it can adapt its posture to different current or pressure conditions. Using sonar, it scans the landscape and can relay images through cameras.
The institute said the CR6000 robot, designed to withstand high pressure and low temperature, has successfully conducted a deep sea field test at a depth of 4,743m in December last year.
Lim Chang-won = email@example.com