Get Snooping With a Nosy Japanese Robot

A Japanese housing company has developed a robot capable of exploring building foundations so people don’t have to.

If you're a homeowner and have done any sort of do-it-yourself home projects, chances are you've had to get into the crawlspace beneath your home on some occasion. It's a dirty job, sure, but somebody's got to do it. However, a robot out of Japan can save the hassle.

Moogle (pronounced "moggle") is a robot designed to inspect the foundations or ventilation gaps below homes and other buildings. The snooping robot weighs 29 pounds, can crawl through gaps just 50cm wide (50x30x24cm itself) and 15cm high. Meanwhile, the human controller can sit in comfort above the ground, directing Moogle wirelessly from a laptop.

Moogle comes decked out with Wi-Fi, two cameras for inspecting and maneuvering, and a laser rangefinder. It also packs LED inspection lights with three different levels of brightness for different scenarios. Moogle is powered by NiMH batteries, and lasts about an hour before needing a recharge.

Moogle creator Daiwa House says that it will be available to other companies and individuals from April 2011. It can either be rented out (for a month) for 40,000 JPY ($500) or bought for 200,000,000 JPY ($2,476,000).

via Engadget]

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