iRobot, the company behind the Roomba automatic vacuuming-cleaning robot, is to take its expertise to off dry land with a revolutionary newrobotic undersea exploration vehicle without any moving parts.
Speaking to Fox news, iRobot explained its latest venture, designed to be a cost-effective way for companies and universities to explore relatively deep parts of the oceans over lengthy periods, thanks to the vehicle's impressive battery life.
In fact, the battery is lso the key to this robot's movement: it has no moving parts, and changes direction by changing the weight distibution of the battery.
"We can physically roll the battery," David Heinz, vice president of Maritime Systems at iRobot, told FoxNews.com. "When you roll it in one direction, the glider will want to come back in that direction, causing it to go into a turn."
Heinz also stated that the vehicle, which is mostly expected to be used by those hoping to study changes in the Earth's climate, should remain unaffected by a wide range of sea conditions: "The robot doesn't care if there's a storm outside or if there's a hurricane present or if it's cold."
The rugged undersea bot is capable of reaching depths of 3,300 feet, but the new 1KA Seaglider isn't the only sub-surface vehicle that iRobot has created. Its 15A Ranger is designed for military operations such as mine removal, while the older Transphibian device features fins to help it manoeuvre, limiting the bot's battery life. It is, however, capable of conducting research on the sea floor, which is harder for the finless counterpart.