Futuristic Antarctic research station can walk on ice

Feb 3, 2013

The Antarctic is a crazy place. The ice on the cold continent slowly moves toward the ocean at a rate of a quarter-mile every year, so establishing fixed structures isn't necessarily feasible. However, a new kind of research station that's set to open on February 5 has legs, and it can walk over the ice to avoid falling into the ocean.

Dubbed the Halley VI, the research station consists of eight stations that are connected together, all of which have these special legs so that the different pods can move in unison. The station consists of laboratories and sleeping quarters, with the larger red station acting as a communal living area that sports some pretty cool things, such as a climbing wall and a herb garden.

The legs consists of retractable hydraulic pumps that allow the structures to beat the rising snow level, and if the station needs to move, a bulldozer can tow the entire thing to a new location with ease. Honestly, they look like something straight out of Star Wars, and could be considered a smaller, more agile version of the AT-AT, but we digress.

Halley VI will be the most sophisticated research station to lay land on Antarctica, and while the laboratories on board are important, designers were specifically focused on making the station as cozy as possible. Architects made sure to select colors that were "refreshing and stimulating," as well as putting daylight bulbs in lamps to simulate sunlight in order to prevent stress and depression during those long Antarctic winters.

[via io9]

Must Read Bits & Bytes