The Crabster robot will explore the deep ocean

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

The Crabster definitely lives up to its name!

The deep ocean is a dark place, and home to the scariest underwater creatures humans have ever seen. Certain properties of water make it difficult to explore the mysterious depths, but now researchers have created an underwater vehicle they call Crabster that’ll make deep water investigations easier than ever before.

Sure, there are already machine explorers that exist today, but they come with their own set of problems. For example, propeller-driven crafts are great for exploring calm waters, but once they encounter strong or violent currents, they’re in big trouble. That’s why drivers using these machines have to stay close to the surface where the environment is relatively calm.

The big-bodied and six-legged Crabster, however, is less restricted than current tech. As you can guess, it was modeled after a crab, only it’s much larger and stronger. The machine is a little more than 7 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 4 feet tall, with a standing height of almost 6 feet. Built for heavy loads, the sturdy Crabster can carry more than 1,400 pounds at a time and dive as deep as 650 feet (try cracking an egg that far down)!

The high-tech crab is also equipped with special sonar technology, which uses sound to map out an environment and navigate through terrain. Though the tough diver can hold its own against strong currents, there are some problems with the Crabster. According to the researchers, the machine moves at approximately 1 centimeter per second – maybe they should have called it the Turtle-ster instead! Also, it doesn’t have the best vision in the world, which may limit its performance.

Despite these drawbacks, the crab-like craft is moving forward with some endurance tests before its first mission in the dangerous Yellow Sea, where other crafts have failed miserably.

Images courtesy of KIOST on Google Blogspot.