The shear (S)-wave velocity of near-surface materials and its effect on seismic-wave propagation are of fundamental interest in many engineering, environmental, and groundwater studies. The multichannel analysis of surface wave (MASW) method provides a robust, efficient, and accurate tool to observe near-surface S-wave velocity. A recently developed device used to place large numbers of closely spaced geophones simultaneously and automatically (the 'autojuggie') is shown here to be applicable to the collection of MASW data. In order to demonstrate the use of the autojuggie in the MASW method, we compared high-frequency surface-wave data acquired from conventionally planted geophones (control line) to data collected in parallel with the automatically planted geophones attached to steel bars (test line). The results demonstrate that the autojuggie can be applied in the MASW method. Implementation of the autojuggie in very shallow MASW surveys could drastically reduce the time required and costs incurred in such surveys. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.