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Slideshow: Nautical Robots Go With the Flow

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Rob Spiegel
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Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 6:14:22 AM
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Nice slideshow Ann. Quite a wide range of differences in structure. It would be interesting to know whether the robots designed to look like sea creatures are intrinsically superior to the clunky looking water bots.

apresher
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Nautical Robots
apresher   4/25/2013 8:49:34 AM
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Excellent slide show. It's interesting to see the different design concepts used for systems like this.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   4/25/2013 12:42:55 PM
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Thanks, Rob, I've had the same basic question. The clunky ones have been aorund a lot longer--in fact, last week I saw James Cameron's movie The Abyss (1989) again, and noticed the ROV in it looks just like many in use today, 24 years later. So presumably, the clunky ones are still perfectly serviceable for what they do. OTOH, I suspect the designers of the biomimicry-inspired ROVs and AUVs, and their funders, are interested in finding out whether animal-inspired designs will be more energy-efficient, and/or more cost-effective.

Charles Murray
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Anti-submarine warfare
Charles Murray   4/25/2013 7:10:42 PM
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Nice to know that the anti-submarine warfare vessel is designed to operate entirely without human presence. On the few occasions when I've had a chance to go on board submarines, I've always been amazed how cramped and tiny they are. (They look much bigger in the movies.) BFor a human to be confined to a sub for any length of time appears to be a very tough assignment.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 7:42:57 PM
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What an interesting question, Ann. Perhaps in water, the size and shape of the robot is not as important as it would be on shore. That is, unless speed is a factor. In that case, a shape with the least resistance would likely be superior.

Measurementblues
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Nautical robot designed by students
Measurementblues   4/26/2013 8:28:30 AM
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Ann, thanks for this article. As it happens, we have a complementary article today on The Connecting Edge.

Students Design Underwater Robot

It's an undergraduate senior project from students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Dangela
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Bronze
cool stuff
Dangela   4/26/2013 8:56:45 AM
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These are pretty cool and would be really fun to work on. What would be better though is if you clicked on the picture you went to the next slide instead of just refreshing the current one.

RichardBradleySmith
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Bronze
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
RichardBradleySmith   4/26/2013 1:41:42 PM
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This one:

An autonomous robotic vehicle for exploring lakes on other planets has been developed by researchers in the University of Arizona's department of electrical and computer engineering. Something like a nautical version of a planetary rover, the lake lander, also called the Tucson Explorer II (TEX II), could be used to investigate the liquid hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Although it will be a while before TEX II goes on a mission to Titan, it can be used on Earth to clean up littoral munitions dumps and mines, as well as harbor surveillance, environmental research, and search and rescue operations in oceans, lakes, and hazardous environments. Controllable via an Internet connection, TEX II has cameras and sonar operational up to 100 m. Its catamaran design provides stability, with two 6-ft long fortified Styrofoam hulls about 5 ft apart. The Styrofoam lets the lake lander withstand hull damage while maintaining buoyancy of its 100-lb weight and 150-lb payload.

Seems like it has to much windage which may not be a problem on other planets but it is "air" driven! They even mention cleaning up mines. I assume that to be old fashion ship exploders! These thing are all swaming mines ready to go get your billion dollar aircraft carrier. NK should forget the nukes and make these. Air dropped in front of the path of a navy fleet, oh my goodness. Boom! What the heck was that? Boom! Boom! Boom! 

William K.
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Platinum
Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
William K.   4/26/2013 6:23:25 PM
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This is a very interesting and informative slideshow, thanks Ann. There are certainly a variety of them around, for all sorts of applications. 

It the floats on the one intended to explore those hydrocarbon lakes on Titan are really sytrofoam, though, I predict failure, since most hydrocarbon liquids disolve styrofoam, some faster, some more slowly, but most, eventually.

bobjengr
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Platinum
NAUTICAL ROBOTS
bobjengr   4/27/2013 12:32:02 PM
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Excellent slide-show Ann.  I must admit, when I think of robotic systems I think manufacturing.  It's an eye-opener to see other viable applications for these devices. The underwater environment can be extremely hostile and certainly a place for robots. I imagine design criteria being quite different for underwater as opposed to above water.  Seals and water-tight enclosures look to be a must to protect against issues with electronics and data-gathering equipment.   Again, great post. 

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