Mother Nature knows best, so if you are planning to build a vehicle to roam about under the water your best bet would be to see how creatures do it. You don’t have to be a huge fan of The Little Mermaid to know that crabs are great at getting around on the ocean floor.
The type of remotely operated underwater vehicle which has traditionally been used doesn’t have the power need to deal with strong currents, which means that they can only be used in certain areas and under certain conditions. However, some clever developers in Korea have been working on the idea of having a device which scuttles and scurries about just like one of our crustacean buddies.
The team of developers in question are based at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST). The team is lead by Bong-huan Jun and the vehicle they have been working on is the brilliantly named Crabster CR200. It is roughly the size of a smart car and can operate in the choppy water around coasts at depths of a maximum of 200 metres, which entails dealing with currents of up to 1.5 m/s and a water pressure of 25 bars.
Cameras and Legs to Spare
The Crabster gets about using 6 articulated legs and can also uses its thrusters to fly along the seabed as well. It uses an array of 10 cameras and can grab things using its 2 front legs, which can stuff anything of interest into a storage compartment at the front. At the moment it works through an umbilical attachment to the mothership but it may have onboard power in the future.