The 5th annual Horikawa Eco Robot Contest took place last week, and among the contestants were some cool aquatic bots built from recycled plastic material. The contest, with entrants from students in elementary school through college, is sponsored by the Nagoya Institute of Technology and the Horikawa Lions club (a volunteer group devoted to cleaning up the Horikawa river).
The recycled robots included realistically painted versions of a giant salamander (which formerly inhabited the upper Horikawa river), a loggerhead sea turtle, a green sea turtle, a female great white shark, and a whale shark. Vulnerable to habitat loss, pollution, and over-collecting, the Japanese Giant Salamander is the 2nd largest salamander species in the world next to the Chinese Giant Salamander, growing to 1.5 meters (nearly 5′) in length. By comparison, most salamanders only grow to about 10 cm. Video:
[source: Impress Robot Watch]