South Korea's flock of robotic teachers look and sound goofy, but the nation is deadly serious about its latest project: developing aquatic robots by 2016 which can swim and crawl their way across the seafloor several miles down for search and rescue purposes, according to the Korea Times.
The government announced today that it would spend about $18 million (20 billion won) over the next five years to create its creepy-crawly robot. That represents a doubling of the project's budget following the sinking of the South Korean Navy frigate Cheonan late last month, which killed dozens of sailors.
Such six-legged devices would walk at speeds of 98 feet per second and swim at up to 59 feet per second. The design specs call for it to patrol the seabed at depths of about 3.7 miles.
A shallow-sea version would come online by 2012, with a deep-sea prototype slated for 2015. The robots would also carry sonar equipment, according to The Korea Herald.
The South Korean ministry believes that having such a drone might have sped up search and rescue efforts for the Cheonan sinking incident, which took place in the West Sea with strong tidal currents and poor visibility.
Other nations have already deployed small swarms of marine robots for scientific research, and a U.S. robotic glider completed the first underwater robot crossing of the Atlantic late last year. A Canadian robot also became the first Internet-enabled undersea observatory around the same time.
how fast? ... oh ok so publicly ~5mph :|
pretending i can run ~7mph on land.. O_O
just make sure they stay on short missions ;)
*5swimming & 8running (mph) ...and ur average fit human can swim ~4mph? :/
Fun they could probably use these robots to selfdestruct..or attach themselves to mines if found
So the design specs call for it to patrol the seabed at depths of about 6km. That's not for search and rescue.
Wow. I want one of these... BTW 98 feet per second is 67 mph, and 59 feet per second is 40 mph. I sincerely doubt that is possible unless these robots are jet powered.
@duhimdumb you corrected them before I got a chance. I'm thinking I'd believe 98 feet/min over per second. Not saying its not possible, I just doubt it.
Too bad the folks at PopSci don't do simple math .....
This is an impressive idea....it could save lives! That's very important. These little robots could be used in all kinds of water search and rescues, which could save even more lives because this way humans wouldn't be risking themselves to save other humans. I think this is a way better use of technology than just developing robots to do household chores.