Daiwa House will begin selling a new inspection robot designed to inspect crawlspaces and overcome up to 15cm (6″) in April 2011. The robot was developed with the Chiba Institute of Technology, and seems to have elements in common with their rescue robots. Interestingly, the external chassis was designed by ROBO-GARAGE.
From my understanding, most Japanese houses do not have basements due to regulations and ground conditions but are raised up about 50cm (20″) for ventilation. Inspectors remotely control the robot and see through its camera via a small monitor, which should help when checking out the state of homes and older renovations. It uses a wireless LAN connection, LED lighting, and is equipped with a laser range finder, a wide angle CMOS camera, and a CCD camera. It measures 50 x 30 x 24cm (length, width, height), weighs 15kg, and can operate for up to an hour on NiMH batteries. It’ll cost 40,000 JPY ($500 JPY) a month to lease or 200,000,000 JPY ($24,600 USD) to purchase.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what a real Moogle looks like, click here.