Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Diving robotic 'Mermaid' Lends a Hand (or 2) to Ocean Exploration

In Mediterranean waters, off the coast of France, a diver these days visited the shipwreck l.  a. Lune —  a vesssel in King Louis XIV's fleet — which lay untouched and unexplored on the ocean bottom because it sank in 1664. however the smash's first nonaquatic traveller in centuries wasn't human — it turned into a robot.
Dubbed "OceanOne," the bright orange diving robotic resembles a mecha-mermaid. It measures about five feet (1.five meters) in duration and has a partially human shape: a torso, a head — with stereoscopic imaginative and prescient — and articulated palms. Its lower phase holds its computer "brain," a strength deliver, and an array of eight multidirectional thrusters.
Guided by means of a computer scientist from a ship, the use of a set of joysticks, OceanOne blended artificial intelligence, sensory feedback and dexterous mechanical creation to perform delicate obligations underwater, including retrieving a fragile artifact from the wreckage and setting it in a container so it is able to be added to the floor. A virtual diver
Remotely operated cars (ROV) are commonly used in ocean exploration. but OceanOne's creators designed a new type of diving robot that can't most effective investigate components of the ocean that are less handy to human beings, however can achieve this with the ability and dexterity of a human diver.
The engineers also created an interface that allows someone to no longer best manage the robot, but to definitely "experience" what the robot is touching, using pressure sensors and haptic comments in OceanOne's articulated palms.
"The purpose here is to have a human diving truely," stated Oussama Khatib, who piloted OceanOne on its l.  a. Lune visit. Khatib, a professor of pc science at Stanford university in California, defined in a announcement that the revel in of guiding the robot is almost like being the diver.
“you can sense precisely what the robot is doing,” Khatib said.
OceanOne is also able to decoding and responding to its environment autonomously, detecting whether or not its hands-on work requires a lighter contact and whilst it wishes to alter its momentum to stay in location or alternate route.
The crew in the back of OceanOne conceived of the robot as a method for studying red Sea coral reefs at depths that have been inaccessible to a human diver. OceanOne's flexible digits could allow it to conduct underwater studies — manipulated by a scientist on the surface — without adverse the reef or its population.
upward thrust of the machines
whilst we might not have pretty reached the factor where robots that resemble humans are on every avenue corner, OceanOne is not the handiest humanoid robot on the town.
A two-legged, humanoid disaster-reaction robotic named "Atlas" made its public debut in 2013. Designed by the robotics layout enterprise Boston Dynamics to navigate tough, outside terrain, Atlas stands 6 ft 2 inches tall (1.nine meters) and weighs 330 pounds (a hundred and fifty kilograms).
current motion pictures of Atlas confirmed that the robot could hold its balance over choppy surfaces, navigate round trees, or even get better after it were pushed.
And another bipedal bot designed to come across and positioned out fires can also quickly help army firefighters extinguish blazes at sea. The Shipboard self sufficient Firefighting robot (SAFFiR) is 5 toes 10 inches (1.eight meters) tall and weighs about one hundred forty lbs. (sixty four kilograms). it can face up to exposure to smoke and heat and is able to wielding a hose with its mechanical "palms."
Diver down
For now, those groundbreaking robots — such as OceanOne — are nonetheless one-of-a-kind protoypes. however OceanOne's engineers are eager to build extra of these mechanical divers, in order to test their prototype's potential to work as a part of a group of diving devices.
robotic divers would be a promising opportunity for tackling underwater environments that might be too dangerous for human beings, but the sensitivity of the computer interface could nevertheless allow a human "presence" at some stage in the dive that can't be done with conventional submersibles. The robots' guide dexterity could also permit those machines to perform obligations that previously simplest human beings may want to perform.
"the 2 convey together an splendid synergy," Khatib said in a statement. "The human and robotic can do matters in areas too risky for a human, even as the human is still there."

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