The largest treasure cache in American history was found 200 miles off the South
Carolina coast, in 8,000 feet of seawater. In 1857, while underway from Panama to New
York with a cargo of gold from the California gold fields, the "SS Central America" with
578 souls on board, went down in a hurricane. Referred to as "The Ship of Gold", the SS
Central America carried an estimated 3 tons of gold, much of which was in the form of
gold bars (ingots) and thousands of rare coins, with some of the gold coins having
estimated collector value of over $30,000 per coin.
Using an underwater robot equipped with a Kraft Grips force feedback manipulator arm,
the Central America's cargo of gold bars, coins, and nuggets was carefully recovered
from the sea floor, while respecting the archeological value of the wreck. The performance
characteristics of the Kraft force feedback manipulator arm played an important role in the
salvage operation, particularly with regard to preserving the pristine condition and
collector value of the gold coins.
S.S. Central America
Using a Kraft Grips force feedback manipulator arm, the undersea robot "Nemo" carefully
removes gold bars and precious coins from the shipwreck SS Central America.
A sample of gold recovered from the SS Central America
|© Kraft TeleRobotics, Inc.