(Yicai Global) Feb. 13 -- An ice-drilling robot developed by an institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences became the country's first land-based bot used in polar ice cap exploration after successfully conducting a land survey during the 34th Chinese Antarctic expedition.
At 1.5 meters tall, two meters long and two meters wide, the petrol-powered robot is specially designed to work under Antarctic weather conditions, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported yesterday. During its mission, the bot covered more than 200 kilometers in the freezing cold, battling through snow and gales.
On-site tests and operations attested to the robot's effective design, said Sui Jin, a research associate at Shenyang Institute of Automation, which created the machine. It can travel at up to 20 kilometers an hour with a range of over 30 kilometers, and features an ice-penetrating radar than can identify ice sheet structures 100 meters underground.
China's icebreaker Xuelong left Shanghai on Nov. 8 to kick start the nation's 34th Antarctic expedition. More than 300 team members joined the trip, which is scheduled to last 164 days and span 37,000 nautical miles before coming to a close in April, Xinhua reported in November.