Yeti Robot Detects Polar Dangers

National Geographic News

April 16, 2013

By Christine Dell'Amore

Meet Yeti—the robot that’s making life easier for polar scientists.

No, it doesn’t look like a giant white ape. But the battery-powered rover has all the toughness of an abominable snowman, surveying undetected hazards at research sites in Greenland and Antarctica.

Now, after six years of operation, a new study shows that Yeti and other polar robots have “great potential” to improve the safety and efficiency of scientific work at the Poles.

“It’s simple and inexpensive, yet effective,” said Laura Ray, an engineer at Dartmouth and Yeti project leader.

“On a $20,000 budget, designing from the ground up, undergraduates designed [and] fabricated a very reliable robot.”

The robot was designed and built to roam the Poles by a team of Dartmouth engineering students with a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. It’s a “testimony to their capabilities that Yeti has been so successful,” she said.

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