Chinese "Starfish" deep-sea robot dives 6000m under water, lifts 400kg rocks
By Gong Zhe
A Chinese-made robot set a national record by diving 6,000 meters underwater on Friday.
It also managed to dredge up 400 kilograms of rock samples from the bottom of a West Pacific area. The largest sample weighs 61 kilograms.
The robot - named "Haixing 6000", or "Starfish 6000" - made nine dives during its first scientific expedition.
"The intense, continuous operation further verified the stability of its system," said Li Zhigang, the director of the underwater robot research office at the Shenyang Institute of Automation in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In the 6,000-meter dive that took place on October 16, Haixing 6000 worked along the seabed for three hours, completing various scientific tasks, such as navigation and observations, biological research and mud and water sample collection at the maximum depth of 6,001 meters.
Haixing 6000 is developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Haixing 6000 falls into a category called "ROV," or remotely operated underwater vehicle.
China has built similar devices, named "Tansuo" and "Faxian" respectively, that can reach as deep as 4,500 meters underwater.