This giant crab robot is straight out of your nightmares
Picture the most horrifying crustaceans on planet Earth (or Science Fiction), toss in some H.G. Lovecraft, and you’ve got the Crabster CR200 autonomous underwater vehicle — the creepiest robot since that female droid from Metropolis (but without the sex appeal and with a healthy dose of *%^& your pants).
Her creators at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) designed the Crabster as an alternative to propeller-driven remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), both of which have trouble with strong tidal currents. Scuttling along the ocean floor — at depths down to 200 meters — this robotic hexapod can withstand currents up to 1.5 m/s and water pressure topping 25 bar (about 362 psi), making it an ideal vessel to explore shipwrecks, conduct marine research, search and rescue operations, and other deep-sea missions that would kill humans.
Personally, if I saw a giant crab crawling — or swimming — toward me, I’d probably beat feet out of that zip code ASAP, but the Crabster will be a huge boon for scientific research. Never mind the creep factor.
The 600 kg robot — with dimensions of 2.42 m long, 2.45 m wide, and 2 m high (7.9 ft x 8 ft x 6.5 ft) — sports 30 joints, can be shipped in a pair of shipping containers, and the behemoth requires four people to operate. New skivvies sold separately.
The Crabster includes a high-resolution scanning sonar, acoustic camera, acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP), and other cameras and sensors, and its front legs can grasp objects (just like you’d expect from a gigantic, nightmarish crab).
But the kicker is seeing this creepifying robotic crustacean scuttle around (very slowly, I’m happy to report). Watch and prepare to be traumatized.