By David Ponce
Being trapped beneath a pile of rubble is a bad way to spend your weekend. And while people in earthquake prone areas are more likely to benefit from the Hibiscus rescue bot (a design of Chiba Institute of Technology), rescue agencies worldwide should look into its purchase, seeing as it costs a mere $26,800. A pittance, really.
The bot is pretty standard when it comes to its basic features: it measures 370 x 650 x 180 mm and weighs 22.5 kg. It is powered by a 3700 mAh Lithium Polymer battery which lasts for 60 minutes. It communicates via Wi-Fi 802.11g and is powered by a SH-4 processor. To find the trapped survivors, it uses an infrared camera.
But its appeal resides in its surprising agility. Having six independent crawler arms along with two flappers allows it to navigate just about any surface.
Don’t take my word for it, come inside and check out the video.