Developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan, this robot, named the Hibiscus, was made to help look for survivors in the aftermath of disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Six independent tread crawlers and a pair of flipper arms help it roll through shattered concrete and random boulders, while its infrared camera scans for the body heat of anyone trapped under the rubble. Any findings are relayed back to base via Wi-Fi (802.11g). Although TechEBlog dubs the helpful droid a "rescue robot," that's a bit of a misnomer, since the Hibiscus really just helps to find trapped people, presumably then alerting heftier, firefighting robots to do the actual rescuing. Were I trapped in a mine shaft, I'd be really grateful if they sent a Hibiscus in, although I hope I could keep it together enough to not assume it was there to assimilate me or anything.
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