The U-CAT robot, the brainchild of researchers from the Center for Biorobotics, Tallinn University of Technology, does come in the shape of a turtle, where the main purpose of its existence is not to fall into some sort of radioactive goo before being turned into a bad-ass, ninja fighting robot with a mutated human-rodent as its master. No sir, the U-CAT robot has a far more peaceful existence, where it was specially designed in order to explore shipwrecks in a far more effective and affordable manner.
The U-CAT robot will be driven by a quartet of flippers, allowing it to swim backward if required and of course, forward, not to mention going up and down and turn on the spot regardless of the direction. With such a high degree of maneuverability, it enables the U-CAT to explore small, confined spaces. This would definitely be safer for humans, since diving is still considered to be a highly expensive and time consuming method when exploring underwater sites including shipwrecks are concerned.
Taavi Salumäe, the designer of the U-CAT concept and researcher in Center for Biorobotics, Tallinn University of Technology, said, “U-CAT is specifically designed to meet the end-user requirements. Conventional underwater robots use propellers for locomotion. Fin propulsors of U-CAT can drive the robot in all directions without disturbing water and beating up silt from the bottom, which would decrease visibility inside the shipwreck.”