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Docking Stations Let Sea Robots Recharge Batteries
10/30/2012

Researchers launch a Bluefin robotic vessel while a docking station for the vehicle sits on the deck of the ship. The docking station, developed by the Battelle Memorial Institute, will let unmanned vessels recharge their batteries and exchange data with researchers during missions at sea. (Source: Battelle Memorial Institute)
Researchers launch a Bluefin robotic vessel while a docking station for the vehicle sits on the deck of the ship. The docking station, developed by the Battelle Memorial Institute, will let unmanned vessels recharge their batteries and exchange data with researchers during missions at sea.
(Source: Battelle Memorial Institute)

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notarboca
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Re: Ocean frontier
notarboca   10/31/2012 11:57:57 PM
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Might be able to use a barometric sensor when on the surface and then dive deep to avoid the wind and wave action topside until it is safe to dock.

Elizabeth M
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12 inches in diamater, not length
Elizabeth M   10/31/2012 10:55:51 AM
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This is a good point...it is a typo. It's actually 12 inches in diameter. There will be a fix to the story. Thanks for your comment!

Elizabeth M
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Re: Ocean frontier
Elizabeth M   10/31/2012 10:54:01 AM
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Yes, this is a good point, Ann and Beth. I am guessing the protective cage that's been built won't be enough in big storm surges, so it's surely something that will be addressed if these are to go into full deployment. At this point the structure likely wouldn't withstand something like Hurricane Sandy.

Battar
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Innovation? not really
Battar   10/31/2012 9:28:20 AM
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Thats not new. US patent 6842931, filed 2002, covers a docking station for underwater robots.

GlennA
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must be a typo
GlennA   10/30/2012 9:31:12 PM
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The Bluefin pictured looks more like 12 feet long than 12 inches long.

gsmith120
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Re: Ocean frontier
gsmith120   10/30/2012 8:52:07 PM
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Interesting story, thanks!!  What's the cost to produce and mantain the docking station? 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Ocean frontier
Ann R. Thryft   10/30/2012 7:52:08 PM
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This makes a lot of sense, but I also have the same question as Beth after the hurricane: what happens to these and other types of underwater operations? What kind of protection or stabilization is engineered into their structures?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Ocean frontier
Beth Stackpole   10/30/2012 12:07:58 PM
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It's a real frontier for innovation, certainly, but also a dangerous frontier, especially as witnessed by yesterday's Hurricane Sandy. It got me thinking--what happens to these kind of charging stations in severe weather like yesterday?

Scott Orlosky
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Platinum
Ocean frontier
Scott Orlosky   10/30/2012 10:48:07 AM
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Thanks for the story.  It's easy to forget that the ocean is still a real frontier for technological innovation.  More people have walked on the moon than have been down to the Marianas Trench - the deepest part of the ocean.

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