from the amazing-voyage-only-without-guts dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "In a short article, Popular Science reports that researchers at the University of Washington have built a robotic cable inspection system. This system should help utility companies to maintain their networks of subterranean cables. The robot, dubbed Cruiser, is about 4-feet-long and is designed like a snake. When it detects an anomaly on an underground cable, it sends a message to a human operator via Wi-Fi. The first field tests took place in New Orleans in December 2006. But a commercial version should not be available before 2012."
"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few
simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'."