According to information received from the publishers Korea Times, after the incident with the South Korean vessel Chenoa, wreck late last month and claimed the lives of many sailors, the South Korean government has allocated $ 18 million in financing for the project, which is developing an autonomous robot for search and rescue operations seabed. The project involves the development and manufacture of robots, which will be able to swim, dive to a depth of several kilometers, to move on the seabed, to search for and, if possible, to rescue people trapped on the seabed.
According to the specifications of the project unit should be able to swim at a speed of 18 meters per minute, to move on the seabed at a speed of 30 meters per minute and can withstand immersion to a depth of six miles. A robot must be equipped with a light source, video cameras and sonar. With the help of this equipment is expected to conduct discovery of sunken ships and affected with the people. Just design a robot must be capable of installing a mechanical instrument through which the robot will be able to perform various actions on the penetration of the hull and remove obstacles, in addition to this the robot must be able to carry an additional payload to ensure the survival of people affected, for example, breathing apparatus and oxygen cylinders.
Under the plan, the first prototype of a robot, not intended for diving, should be ready as early as 2012, and in 2015 should be prepared to design an apparatus capable of reaching the estimated depth and the final version should be completed in 2016.
The South Korean government believes that such a robot will be able to significantly accelerate the time it takes to save people in case of incidents like the incident of the vessel Chenoa, and laden with poor visibility and strong undercurrents.