Weekly Robot Update 001
It's Tuesday, and you know that means. (Well, you didn't but you do now.) It's time for the WEEKLY ROBOT UPDATE. Once a week we'll provide you with the scoop on a unique robot lurking some place on the net.
This weeks robot is the ACM-R5. Courtesy of TechEBlog.
The ACM-R5 "Amphibious snake like robot". It crawls, it slithers, it swims it dives. Watch the video to do this slick machine justice. My Japanese is weak (gomen nasai), but I'll bet the video commentators are saying something like "that's the coolest damn robot I've ever seen."
ACM is just under two meters long, and weighs in at 8 kilos. He can survive in the wild for half an hour before needing a recharge of his Lithium Ion Batteries. There is a small CCD camera in the head segment, surrounded by bright LEDs, which can relay real time video to a remote operator. The operator can control the general heading of the snake bot, but obstacle negotiation, path finding, and water aquabatics are all done autonomously.
ACM was designed to aid in disaster relief. Especially in areas subject to earthquakes and flooding, such as Japan. The robot could crawl, climb, slither, and swim it's way through debris and flood waters to find human survivors. Another proposed use for this machine is to aid in the laying and repair of more fiber optics underground to increase Japan's broadband penetration.
I say they are missing out on the real killer app for this thing. Give it some more expressive LED lights, a prehensile tail claw, a shiny paint job, and a cuddly Aibo-esque personality, and you've got the makings of the worlds greatest beach/pool toy. I'd buy one in a Tokyo minute, and name him Serpentor.
Memepunks Update: A reader was kind enough to supply us with a translation of the reporter speak... "there's not really anything unexpected in the commentary. Just a lot of "Wow! It looks like a snake. It moves very smoothley. Snakes are scary, why did you choose a snake as your model? Wow, that's really futuristic." etc. etc." Thanks!
"I think it was manufactured locally... finest quality... superior workmanship. There is a maker's serial number... 9-9-0-6-9-4-7-X-B-7-1. Interesting. *Not* fish. *SNAKE* scale!" - Blade Runner.