Updated April. 22, 2014 02:00
A new submersible robot currently being developed by Korean researchers may be mobilized in waters off Korea`s south coast where the ferry Sewol sank. Jeon Bong-hwan, researcher at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, said Monday, "Underwater robot Crabster is currently being transported from Daejeon to the site."
Crabster is 2.4 meters long, 2 meters high and weighs 600 kilograms. It uses six legs to move up and down and from left to right and vice versa on the ocean floor at a maximum speed of 2 to 3 kilometers. Since it moves by standing on sea floor instead of swimming, the robot, if mobilized, can conduct operations on the accident sites without being swept away from strong tides. It can explore up to 200 meters deep.
Jeon said, "By using the ultrasonic wave scanner installed on the Crabster`s body, we can identify in what shape the ferry Sewol is lying as well as the geological features of its surroundings," adding, "It will help decide the routes of divers and when planning the salvage of the sunken ship."
Since its launching in 2012 for resource exploration and subsea mapping in Korea`s coastal areas, Crabster started test operations last year. The Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology will decide whether to mobilize it given the conditions of the disaster site.