Japanese spider crab is about to lose its title as the largest crustacean in the world thanks to a new robot, Crabster, developed in South Korea. Over the past 2 years, researchers from the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) have been working on a giant robot crab that has a size and weight equal to the interior of the car. This summer, he will help scientists explore sunken ships below sea level.
One of the key problems associated with traditional helical underwater remotely controlled vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (APA), they do not show good results in strong currents. Another problem is their screws, which, as a rule, raise a lot of rubble, reducing the visibility of the operator. To overcome these problems, the KIOST team, led by chief researcher Bong Huang Jun, developed a six-legged robot based on the characteristics of crabs and lobsters (hence the name).
The six-legged robot contains a total of 30 powerful joints. Like its biological relatives, the two robotic forelegs are more articulated than the rest, so they can be used as weapons. Objects can be collected and stored in the frontal compartment to reach the surface. Even in shallow seas it can be quite dark, so the Crabster is equipped with 10 optical cameras and a long-range sonar that scans up to 200 m (650 ft) into the distance.
The team used computer simulation to rationalize the main shell of the robot in such a way as to ensure the stabilization of the robot under the influence of current. By shifting his six-legged pose, the body of the shell effectively reduces drag and increases lift.
In about a month, Crabster and its control station will be transported by cargo containers in the waters off the coast of South Korea. There it will be lowered to 200 meters with a crane on the seabed, where the robot will pass its first real test. The goal is, in the end, to get to historical wrecks and other objects.
He can remain on the seabed while he has exercise, i.e. The robot can work for more than 24 hours in one recharge via an external power cable. In the future, researchers would like to cut the umbilical cord, and possibly create a robot floating. They study how frogs, turtles, and water bugs swim with their hind legs, in the hope that Crabster can mimic this ability. At the same time, he will just crawl to move.
The team started with a much smaller prototype called Little Crabster, which performs test walking on treadmills and rough terrain before building a larger version. You can see robots, including computer animation, showing their work in the following videos.
Crabster in control:
. (tagsToTranslate) Robot crabster (t) Science