Robot is underwater lumberjack

The 'Sawfish' is an unmanned logging submarine

Triton Logging
Viacom

The untrained eye may find some resemblance to Spongebob Squarepants, but this underwater lumberjack is far more useful and probably nowhere near as irritating. As surface dwellers continue to ravage the planet, we may need help increasingly from technologies like "the Sawfish," a 7,000-pound "underwater harvesting specialist"--or, as we would call it, a submarine that cuts down trees.

Proving once again our desperate ignorance on many subjects, we were surprised to learn that underwater forests are routinely created when hydroelectric dams are constructed and flood terrestrial timber that can still be harvested for decades later. The unmanned robotic vehicle, according to Treehugger, "latches onto the trunk of a submerged tree, attaches inflatable airbags to the trunk, deploys its chainsaw, and then releases the tree to float up to the surface."

Triton Logging, which manufactures the Sawfish, estimates that submerged trees around the world could provide more than 100 billion board feet of salvageable lumber. Bikini Bottom may never be the same.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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