Left, engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have built a robot modeled on a sea turtle, shown here in a conceptual drawing, that is capable of underwater autonomous navigation. Right, the robot sea turtle prototype, shown here without its container, is scheduled to make its first dive later this month. (Source: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
The castaways that are currently available for rescue are undoubtedly being paid far to much to consider accepting a rescue. Although if it were rehearsed as much as the rest of those shows it might possibly be quite interesting.
I agree--I think this design, as well as robotic fish, could compete well against more clunky-moving unmanned underwater vehicles UUVs) and do a good job of reconnaissance, chemical monitoring, and other such tasks that UUVs are designed for.
I can see a large number of applications for the sea turtle robot, even more if it can be dressed to give the same sonar signature as a real turtle. A group of them could attach mines to an entire fleet of enemy vessels without raising any alarm. And that is just the most obvious task.
They could also be very useful in the commercial fishing business, and in a lot of underwater investigations, since they are undoubtedly quite stable.
Thanks, mrdon. Baxter is definitely an interesting development in social robotics. We've covered robots that interact with people in several types of environments: http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=251275 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=251721 and more at the links at the end of the second article listed.
Hi Ann, Your quite welcome. I had a similar conversation with my Control Systems class last night on not only the autonomous attributes but social interaction of robotics. Showed a couple of You Tube videos on Rodney Brook's ReThink Robotics Baxter and his early work on Cog at MIT's Artifical Lab.
Thank God the Swiss are funding stupid things like this..... Oh crap; I finally read the rest of the first paragraph. Somewhere I knew that the U.S. Govt might do something like automate a fish. Who better than F-ing Homeland Security to manufacture a spy fish. Wait until the Navy finds out that another dept is infringing on their territory. This flapping contraption reminds me of the first attempts to make a flying machine that flapped.
On the other hand may be I could get a grant from Homeland Sec. to develop a flapping airplane.
The Chief of Naval Operations once stated in a speach that the U.S. Navy has three enemies: The Soviet Union, the U.S. Air Force and Hyman Rickover. Now we'd have to add Homeland Sec.
Thanks, Lou and gsmith. There's a surprising number of swimming robots, whether humanoid or animal-oid. Lou, good point about fishing! gsmith, I also noticed some major improvements in the rev 1 and 2 of the naro.
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