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Inflatable Research Lab Rolls Across the Arctic Tundra
Designed by Studio Les Bêtes, the Arctic Drifter travels with the prevailing winds of the Arctic Circle, rolling across the landscape gathering images and information about the local environment. When fully inflated, the Drifter presents a 15 m diameter profile, cushioned by Hypalon air-bags (a similar material is used for heavy-duty inflatable boats). Because of its size and buoyancy it will be able to cover almost any flat terrain, including ice, water and small crevasses, and will have the ability to travel even with extreme wind speeds and weather conditions that would otherwise ground most travelers. All that is needed to slow or stop the Drifter is the deflation of an air-bag for additional stability, and the inner roll-cage ensures that the crew capsule is able to remain upright. To exit the capsule, the crew simply needs to deflate a section of air-bags and detach them.
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