Convex has developed a Hammerhead shark robot. The South Korean supplier of stepper motor drivers and controllers has been around since 1997, and has seen the robot industry expand rapidly. “With South Korea surrounded by the ocean on three sides, it makes sense to develop aquatic robots for education and”, says Convex’s president,”the military defense applications are virtually endless.”
The 99cm (4’3″) long robot weighs 5kg (11 lbs) and is controlled wirelessly with a battery life of 2 hours. The robot comes equipped with underwater cameras, its buoyancy can be controlled to make it dive, and it can swim up to 12 meters/sec. Given the difficulties in underwater navigation, as well as calibrating the cameras, temperature sensors, and salinity sensor (let alone what problems pressure may cause) a commercialized product is still at least 1-2 years away. Convex plans to display the Hammerhead shark robot in an aquarium for visitors at Robot World 2009.