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Slideshow: Nautical Robots Ride Out the Storm

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Ann R. Thryft
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Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2014 1:46:53 PM
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I thought it was interesting that I didn't find a lot of new robots based on biomimetics, like fish, jellyfish, octopus or turtles. But there's been a lot of activity in ROVs, especially personal, low-end designs. I think the most unique one is the Korean jellyfish killer.



Charles Murray
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Charles Murray   1/2/2014 5:53:14 PM
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I think it's interesting to note that the jellyfish killers communicate with each other over Zigbee. I'm not sure what the jellyfish's mortal enemy is in nature, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't know the Zigbee protocol.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/3/2014 1:16:47 PM
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I agree, I don't think jellyfish speak ZigBee, Chuck. Their natural predators according to Wikipedia are other jellyfish, as well as "tuna, shark, swordfish, sea turtles, and at least one species of Pacific salmon." Salmon? Weird.

far911
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
far911   1/6/2014 11:11:49 PM
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ZigBee is a specification for a suite of high level communication protocols used to create personal area networks built from small, low-power digital radios.  Is it?

a.saji
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
a.saji   1/7/2014 5:18:50 AM
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@far911: So what happens if they signals breakdown ? Also what sort of a distance does the signals communicate through ?  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/7/2014 12:01:01 PM
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far911, yes that's the correct definition of ZigBee. In case it wasn't clear, Chuck and I were joking about the jellyfish's ability to understand ZigBee.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 5:15:09 PM
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When you have to explain your joke, it kills the humor. 

And yes, ZigBee is short range, like Bluetooth; but very narrow bandwidth (small data), and very low power, so it can optimize battery life. This is a cool application for ZigBee; that is, if you support messing around with Mother Nature! (not that I like Jellyfish, but this seems like jelly-genocide.)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/15/2014 6:19:02 PM
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Jim, it's total jelly-genocide--that's the idea. I don't like messing with Mama Nature at all, but in this case, there's not much to like and this very sucecssful species has been around a long time.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 11:46:55 PM
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Laughing !!   It's a good thing I'm not an environmental fundamentalist extremist, or I'd have to object at you casting judgment on the value of a species! But, I'm not, and I don't, so we're good!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/16/2014 12:32:11 PM
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Jim, I'm pro-environment, but I've also studied biology, ecology and evolution. Speciation happens because environments change, so species are not all equal. Right now, to the jellyfish on the coasts of Korea, that means humans happened. Unless jelly-cide messes with the local ecosystem and has unexpected harmful results--as sometimes occurs from human interference--the genus overall doesn't have anything to worry about.

William K.
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
William K.   1/3/2014 4:03:47 PM
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Ann, I think that I came across an obscure and not very detailed reference to that jellyfish killer a while back, but never heard any more about it. That would indeed be an interesting thing to read about, especially how it senses that it has found a jellyfish. Those are probably one of the few creatures that nobody would ever choose to defend, at least I would not offer any complaint about a machine that ate those nasty pests.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/6/2014 11:59:14 AM
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William, I had a moment's hesitation when I was reading about the robot grinding up jellyfish--aside from the "eew" factor, there was the "yikes it's killing an animal" factor. But I think you're right--they've been around for something like 700 million years, so they're a very successful life form since their enemies don't seem to be doing a very good job of wiping them out.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 5:28:46 PM
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If anyone would object, the likely environmental group would be the Sea Turtle supporters – Jellyfish is a favorite dietary staple of Sea Turtles. Where I live near Ft. Lauderdale, its common knowledge that ZipLoc bags littered into the water, are mistaken as Jellyfish by Sea Turtles and they wind up asphyxiating themselves. Accordingly, people –even non-environmental fanatics – are very sensitive to littering Ziplocs in particular!

far911
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
far911   1/6/2014 11:06:07 PM
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I agree with you.So far we havent but soon we will see because lot of research and development is going on.
The research involves a close collaboration among robotics and physiology researchers at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities.


Ralphy Boy
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ralphy Boy   1/7/2014 6:40:51 PM
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A while back we made some battery packs for TALON base units. That base can have a wide variety of attachments applied to it to make whatever... Since we didn't pressure test those packs for underwater use I'm guessing they are not on the beach comber shown in slide #9. I'll watch for hints of this use in any future builds of TALON packs now that I know about these.

And thanks for the photo Ann. We have a few TALON versions on the walls in the assembly area, and now we'll have the Beach Bum Harassment model too!

The jelly fish killers are interesting. I was in NE Australia in Nov 2012. It was eerie to be on a beautiful beach at mid-day and have no one in the water. Coming from Jersey where some of our beaches get pretty crowded I found myself feeling sad at the waste of miles of beach.

They have the deadly Box Jelly Fish to contend with. I read that they test the surf regularly to decide if the beach can be opened. A school of these could give real time data on stinger presence or absence, and grind up the little nasties at the same time.

But then again... some of the beaches were also closed because of CROCKS... Whole 'nother robot needed I suspect.  

BTW... After printing that TALON picture I noticed it has what looks pretty much like a fishing rod pointing out the back. Pfft... But no beer.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Fewer jellyfish, more ROVs
Ann R. Thryft   1/8/2014 12:12:50 PM
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Glad you enjoyed the slideshow, Ralphy Boy, and thanks for the interesting stuff about TALON.

Battar
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Backyard pool
Battar   1/5/2014 3:49:29 AM
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If you have a pool in your backyard you could be using a robotic pool cleaner to keep it neat and tidy - a sort of underwater Roomba. They operate autonomously, usually dragging a power cable behind them, and despite appearing simple, they run sophisticated software to keep them out of trouble and help them get around. 

a.saji
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Re: Backyard pool
a.saji   1/6/2014 3:55:24 AM
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@battar: Yes its good to automate as much as possible but I feel giving a lot of priority towards robots is risky. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Backyard pool
Ann R. Thryft   1/6/2014 11:59:53 AM
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Battar, thanks for the tip. I guess those sort of qualify as nautical robots. I'll check 'em out.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Backyard pool
Ann R. Thryft   1/6/2014 12:01:10 PM
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On second thought, those are really service robots, so they don't qualify here.

far911
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Re: Backyard pool
far911   1/6/2014 11:07:46 PM
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Seems like pretty soon we will be sitting idle and everything will be done by robots for us.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Backyard pool
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 5:49:45 PM
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The in-pool cleaner I have is the Hayward Navigator; Using no power cord, its cleverly designed to use the suction power of the attached vacuum hose to mechanically convert the suction action into a walking action, using two offset cams like a bicycle pedal.  The device walks around the pool constantly, as long as the pool pump and filter are on for the day.

Battar
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Re: Backyard pool
Battar   1/16/2014 2:13:50 AM
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Jim,

       Unlike the micro-controller based electric pool cleaners, your suction powered cleaner is not a robot - it has no decision making process or pre-programmed actions. 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Backyard pool
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/16/2014 5:22:14 PM
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I consider the Hayward as randomly autonomous as a Roomba, which I think was classified as a Robot. One key difference is that it will not "back-up" when bumped in the front (a programmed decision for a robot) Instead, it just slowly turns to the right until it reorients itself into a clear path.  The simplicity of its operation is admirable; Robot, or Not!

Battar
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Re: Backyard pool
Battar   1/18/2014 2:54:05 PM
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Jim,

      Neither the Roomba nor robotic pool cleaners are "randomly autonomous". They follow programmed trajectories and react to external stimulus. 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Backyard pool
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/19/2014 1:49:54 PM
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,,,didn't know that.  Thought the Roomba's just wandered ,,, Like the Hayward does. So, Roomba owners need to program the device for the layout of the furniture in rooms-?

Battar
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Re: Backyard pool
Battar   1/18/2014 2:54:22 PM
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Jim,

      Neither the Roomba nor robotic pool cleaners are "randomly autonomous". They follow programmed trajectories and react to external stimulus. 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Looks un-seaworthy
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 5:31:24 PM
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The Coral Bot Nessie 4 shown in the first slide, just doesn't look like it would maintain a level buoyancy; It looks front-heavy, and apt to roll ,,, like the pitch and yaw would be very difficult to maintain. Was that model actually reduced to practice-? (image looks like a rendering)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Looks un-seaworthy
Ann R. Thryft   1/15/2014 6:20:00 PM
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I thought the artists's conception of CoralBot looked a wee bit unstable, too. But as we've discussed in several comments elsewhere, artists don't always have all the (engineering) data at hand.

Ratsky
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But can they sing????
Ratsky   3/4/2014 11:07:11 AM
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Since my brother (aka "Riggy") is a "nautical musician" I had to ask! Wouldn't want to automate him out of a job!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: But can they sing????
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2014 1:41:01 PM
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Ratsky, love your icon. Um, what are nautical musicians? That makes me think of the Sirens in Greek mythology, but somehow I don't think that's what you mean.

Ratsky
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Re: But can they sing????
Ratsky   3/4/2014 1:50:34 PM
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See riggy.com

sea music!

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: But can they sing????
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2014 1:59:03 PM
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Ratsky, thanks for the link. Nice sounding music in those vocals. I've got some of Grisman's earlier stuff.
To answer your question: nope, these bots don't do music--at least, not yet.

Ratsky
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Re: But can they sing????
Ratsky   3/4/2014 2:07:13 PM
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Maybe gen 2....

William K.
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The last one, the turtle, is interesting.
William K.   3/14/2014 8:26:15 PM
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The last robot in the slideshow is the one that has copied the tutrtle's method of propulsion, which is cool. Considering that turtles can move a lot faster in the water than on land, and that they make their escape from sunning on logs to just "plop" into the water in a real hurry. Those robots could probably get past a defense system being mistaken for turtles. So copying nature does have advantages.

 

And the jellyfish grinders: Those toxic beasts reproduce fast enough that they would never be endangered, and probably few would miss them if they went extinct. The fact is that we don't know of any real benefit that they provide, except for keeping all the babes on the beach i  that one area of Australia. And it seems that the various things that eat them also eat a lot of other things as well. So how about aquatic robots to herd tha  salmon around to eat up the jellyfish? The problem is, "how do you herd salmon"?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The last one, the turtle, is interesting.
Ann R. Thryft   3/17/2014 1:06:39 PM
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William, that's very funny. I mean about herding salmon. I suspect it's a bit like herding cats, don't you think?



William K.
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Re: The last one, the turtle, is interesting.
William K.   3/17/2014 5:22:37 PM
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Herding cats is not that hard if one has lots of canned fish in their pockets. At least I think that would be the case, I have not tried it myself.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The last one, the turtle, is interesting.
Ann R. Thryft   3/18/2014 12:03:59 PM
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William, you're on a roll there. As to herding cats, I've only done it euphemistically, with people.

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