Chilean inventor Manuel Salinas is becoming quite good at using his
robot to find buried objects.
The robot was designed to find antipersonnel mines but its job
description keeps growing.
In the last year he has helped solve two high-profile criminal cases,
found German weapons, and located buried treasure on the Robinson Crusoe
Naturally, there's a dispute over the treasure.
The Geo-Radar technology also claims to be able to find copper deposits,
petroleum, and gold at depths of 600 feet.
Exactly how it works is being kept a secret but a University lab test
confirms its operation.
Sites like Nation Geographic, New
Scientist, and the BBC have been reporting on it for a while. We did a
story on the treasure
finding event last year with links to several articles and photos.
Looks like a slightly different version of the robot but Manuel Salinas
was mentioned in some of the articles. As far as I can tell, they just
attached a ground-penetrating radar unit to a robot platform. A radar
expert quoted at the time thought they might be exaggerating the depth
of radar penetration. They claimed the treasure was detected at 15
that's a cool sensor for any robot.
I know it's a little late, but here goes my rant: I'm dismayed this guy
has come up
again. I'm chilean, and although I'm currently in the US (studying in
GeorgiaTech, mainly robotics & AI stuff) I was in Chile last year when
this whole thing first appeared. It happened thus: robot makes a lot
of apparent discoveries in a brief period of time; media picks up the
story and shows videos of robot (it's radio controlled, by the way).
Unfortunately they also let Manuel Salinas talk. And believe me,
whenever this guy opens his mouth a totally insane techno babble that
makes no sense comes out. Anyone even remotely familar with science
can tell this guy is a pathological liar. It's so silly it's hard to
translate (just in case here's an interview:
in spanish). Here is one
famous assertions, when he tried to explain how the robot worked: (I
know it's gibberish, not even completely grammatical; it was gibberish
in spanish too).
"It's the non linear integration of the basic unit of life as it is
known; thus, and in the merely functional and explicative concept, I
detail that our unit is the integration of highly sophisticated
electronic components that are capable of deciphering the unanimity
equation of chaos theory in the context of an integral to the power of
the exponential radical, based on the composition of the species, as
they are known after 20.000 of assisted evolution." (see the blog
; the original interview on the "El
Mercurio" newspaper is not available for free it's site).
His interviews are full of gems like this. Here's another one, from
(After saying the robot is powered by nuclear fission):
"No, it doesn't decompose anything. I take a basic element, non
radioactive, that can be acquired in a jewelry store or a pharmacy
(but it's an industrial secret) and I subject it to an interference
field; I create magnetic fields, a sort of cyclotron, and with this I
excite the quark, the minimum expression in an atom. Then, when I
confront these two energies with each other, I create a new torrent of
energy, which I force to come out of transducers, the antennas and
horns you see on the sides of the robot, coupled to a graphite cannon,
the channel emission. Have you seen "Star trek"? When they said "We'll
use the antimatter cannons", well, this is the same."
he claims the idea for the robot was communicated to him by god. He
also says the reach of the robot is up to 50 km (not a typo) in any
direction, and "linear, quadratic or cubic".
He has claimed that the robot can analyze the DNA of people at a
distance. That's why it supposedly works best for him, because the
robot recognizes his DNA. The operation of the robot is also
supposedly disturbed by the presence of menstruating women.
But then came Salinas' downfall. During a presentation at a technical
university, (UTFSM), he was asked harsh questions by professors and
engineering students. After an hour of some more gibberish, a physics
professor stood up and addressed the audience, saying that the Manuel
Salinas didn't know what he was talking about, that there's no way
that the robot could work as Salinas claimed; that the guy was a
fraud and UTFSM shoudn't have anything to do with him. Everyone
applauded and Salinas, riduculed, left. (
here is a newspaper article)
Note that the National Geographic article mentions these controversies.
After that, Salinas more or less disappeared from the spotlight. Until
now. How embarassing. Salinas is a total crank, almost perfectly
described by the profile of the crank in Martin Gardner's "Fads and
Fallacies in the name of science". Let me tell you, there's
interesting science and technology developed in Chile. This is not
part of it.