By >Akihabara News Team
Daiwa House’ New Crawlspace Robot
Riding on the wave of robotic devices replacing human workers in high-stress or high-danger locations, Daiwa House Industry, a famous Japanese homebuilding company, announced a new crawlspace inspection robot to be pressed into service in April, 2011. The robot is called moogle (rhymes with goggle or mogul, not Google), weighs 13 kg (28.7 lbs) and measures 50x30x24 cm and is equipped with two cameras (a wide-angle CMOS camera for driving and a CCD camera for inspections), LED inspection lights in three levels of brightness, and four continuous-track crawlers – all of which can be controlled via wifi from a laptop placed in a less claustrophobic location. The third iteration of a joint project between the Chiba Institute of Technology, University of Tsukuba, and Mitsubishi Electric Tokki Systems that began in 2006, the moogle can clear obstacles under 15 cm high and crawl through spaces as small as 50cm wide and 30cm tall.
Edit: I wasn’t clear – this is a robot that Daiwa plan to use in the free home inspections for people they’ve sold houses and buildings to (one month, six months, one year, two years, five years, ten years, and fifteen years after purchase) as part of their warranty service for the customer.