Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

Mine Sweeper

Inventor: Don Massa and Joseph Ayers

No, it's not a pet you take to the beach. Robo-Lobster, a 7-lb., 2-ft.-long crustacean made of industrial-strength plastic, has a bigger job to do: detecting and destroying mines buried in the surf zone. At least, that's how the U.S. Navy plans to use the robot once developers at Massa Products deliver their final version next year. The current prototype mimics a real lobster's movements to negotiate all types of coastal terrain. The plastic antennas sense obstacles; the eight legs can propel it in any direction; the two claws and tail keep it stable in turbulent water.

Availability: Late 2004 (military use only)
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