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Automation & Control
Mine-Seeking Underwater Robots Scour Ship Hulls
7/20/2012

MIT researchers have improved the navigation and ability to detect small mines on the hulls of ships for its Autonomous Underwater Hull Inspection Vehicle, pictured here. Small mines can create significant damage to a ship's hull even if they don't threaten the lives of people onboard.   (Source: The Office of Naval Research)
MIT researchers have improved the navigation and ability to detect small mines on the hulls of ships for its Autonomous Underwater Hull Inspection Vehicle, pictured here. Small mines can create significant damage to a ship's hull even if they don't threaten the lives of people onboard.
(Source: The Office of Naval Research)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
Ann R. Thryft   7/25/2012 11:54:34 AM
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Maybe I'm being too literal, but the HAUVs in our nautical robot slideshow http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=246206 are by definition autonomous vehicles (the "A" in HAUV), which means they don 't require human interaction. So I still don't get why the Navy wants to reinvent their own version (and, of course, call it by a different name).  Unless it's to have their own algorithm?



sensor pro
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
sensor pro   7/22/2012 10:23:41 PM
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It is very interesting. I will try to inquire about the project. It may be something useful.

 

mrdon
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
mrdon   7/22/2012 8:06:38 PM
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Your quite welcome. There's a group of students at ITT Tech buidling a mobile robot using a metal detector kit to locate metal objects for their Capstone Project. Sounds interesting and I look forward to their finish product and results.

sensor pro
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
sensor pro   7/22/2012 6:44:59 PM
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You are correct. Very good recommendations. Thanks.

mrdon
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
mrdon   7/22/2012 6:35:25 PM
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Possibly adding an inductive sensing coil similar to a proximity sensor or a metal detector could possibly be used with crab seeking underwater robots to detect the mines. Sounds like a good Capstone project for an undergraduate engineeering team to research and implement.

sensor pro
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
sensor pro   7/22/2012 9:48:44 AM
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You make a good point. Some years back we were looking at some sensitivity of mines to metalic objects and some navigation devices to direct divers to mines. The biggest problem was the fact that many mines sence approaching metal as a threat or a target and detonate, so we needed to find one that has a very small or no metal signature.  I do not know haw these robots can approach a magnetic mine.

mrdon
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Re: Crab-Seeking Underwater Robots
mrdon   7/21/2012 6:24:58 PM
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Robotics have been used in space exploration, wood manufacturing, and composites defect inspection applications to alleviate endangerment to humans. Why not the last frontier, oceans. Since crabs scour the ocean floors looking for food, making robot replicas to find mines make perfect since.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   7/21/2012 3:42:58 PM
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That makes sense.  Thanks for the explanation.  I guess I have a hard time "getting" the thought-process of deviant activity.  My mind tends to direct thoughts toward constructive, vs. destructive activities.  Guess I'd make a poor CIA counter-terrorist!

notarboca
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Re: Crab-Seeking Underwater Robots
notarboca   7/21/2012 7:59:42 AM
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@williamlweaver, I think the R&D, sensors, navigation, and propulsion would be interesting and difficult challenges, but it could work.


Plus, I'm hungry!  :-)

notarboca
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Re: Why is the Navy reinventing the wheel?
notarboca   7/21/2012 7:52:11 AM
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@JimT-The Navy's not concerned with previously sunken ships--they worry about currently deployed assets at anchor.  Consider Fleet Week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  A carrier group comes in fairly close to shore.  A terrorist with rebreather equipment (no bubbles) could deploy a small limpet mine amongst the propellor/rudder structure.  These autonomous robots hopefully can detect this if all other security measures have failed.  I imagine that the detection algorithm in typically limited visibility and complex structure is what took 10 years to develop and test.

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