The recent earthquake in Haiti has highlighted the need for an accurate earthquake detection system that, unlike Twitter, can predict shaking more than a few seconds in advance. Scientists have long been able to predict earthquakes on a grand scale–we know that there is a significant chance of a devastating earthquake in the Bay Area sometime in the next few decades–but what about in the crucial hours before the big one hits?
A group of students from the J T Engineering College in Gujarat, India claim to have developed a robot that senses changes in water and temperature levels and sends the information over microwave frequencies to trigger an alarm. The vibration-sensing robot could trigger an earthquake warning alarm up to three hours in advance–enough time to allow people to at least prepare emergency supplies. If it works, we hope governments around the world get this thing installed ASAP. Check out the sinister-looking robot in action below.