HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 6:14:22 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   4/25/2013 12:42:55 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 7:42:57 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

RichardBradleySmith
User Rank
Bronze
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
RichardBradleySmith   4/26/2013 1:41:42 PM
NO RATINGS
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! 

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:44:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Sometimes it's interesting how no matter how much we try to make things better, it's the original that performs just fine.  In some cases, I don't know if there can  be improvements, in others, I think it's the fact that the original can do 95% of the job and the other 5% aren't really missed.

 

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:44:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Sometimes it's interesting how no matter how much we try to make things better, it's the original that performs just fine.  In some cases, I don't know if there can  be improvements, in others, I think it's the fact that the original can do 95% of the job and the other 5% aren't really missed.

 

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:32:50 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree.  Does God's design have some unique abilities or benefits that science just can't duplicate or improve on.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   4/29/2013 12:35:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, you've got it: shapes and their movements in water are extremely important, probably as much so as on land, but with a different set of requirements. The FILOSE fish robot made this clearer to me.



Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   4/30/2013 11:50:43 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, if shape matters underwater, I would imagine we'll see more and more robots that take a lead from nature. How that will play out will probably depend on the purpose of the robot -- whether it's intended for speed or maneuverability.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/1/2013 12:15:07 PM
NO RATINGS
I think you're right, Rob. The two things I noticed that came up again and again in underwater robot design were, of course, seals and water-tight protection of electronics etc., but also movement through water and how differently it must be engineered than movement through air. That said, most of these robots' purpose is neither speed nor maneuverability but to carry out certain research or military functions, usually some kind of surveillance or data gathering. Speed and maneuverability are generally secondary or even tertiary goals, with one or two exceptions, for instance, the robots that have to squeeze into tight spaces, such as this robotic tuna: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=251209

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2013 9:39:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice link, Ann. That robot looks almost exactly like a fish. I guess if nature has already done the engineering, why create something new that likely won't be as effective.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:51:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks Rob, I agree about the design "energy savings" made possible by biomimicry.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/3/2013 8:24:35 PM
NO RATINGS
  • Rob, shape matters a whole lot in the water and under it, much more than it matters in air. Not only that the greater density takes a lot more power to move it out of the way, but also that the friction of moving through water is greater. One large difference though is that water is generally not compressible,at least not like air.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:51:44 PM
NO RATINGS
William is right about shape mattering even more in water than it does in air as far as a fish--or a robot's--speed, maneuverability, and efficiency and therefore power consumption. Just think how much harder it is to swim through water than to walk through air, and the muscles swimming gives your arms as a result.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 6:37:00 PM
NO RATINGS
That makes sense, William K. It looks like many of our existing water-based vehicles are rather bukly -- such as subs. But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe they're suited for moving through water.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/6/2013 10:00:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, sometimes efficiency and streamlining are not the only consideration. Watch some of those fish at the aquarium, some very big fish disappear when they are viewed from the front or the rear. And you don't see very many fish with missile launching abilities.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 10:26:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, William K. That's funny. I would imagine missile-launching capability trumps all with our sub fleet.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/28/2013 11:36:32 AM
NO RATINGS
That is funny, William--thanks for the laugh.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/28/2013 7:31:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, watch some of those fish in the big aquarium at your local zoo. There are a few of them that are huge when viewed from the side, and they really do become hard to see when they turn and swim away. My guess is that it is that way to confuse predators.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/29/2013 11:30:32 AM
NO RATINGS
William, what was funny wasn't the thinness of the fish's profile--I've noticed that before--it was the idea of their missile launching capability. I think that's what Rob was also reacting to.



William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/29/2013 3:48:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, OK, that makes sense. Of course a missile launching fish would be a very interesting creature. Probably we could train a school of dolphin to escort a missile launching robot dolphin, giving it a nearly perfect cover. The main hazard would be poachers. Perhaps DARPA would be interested in that concept, which just popped into my head. I am not at all familiar with the DARPA dolphin program and have never heard of "Freddy the Fish".

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/29/2013 6:53:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Now I can't tell if you're pulling my leg about DARPA and Freddy the Fish. ?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/30/2013 2:50:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, I deny all knowledge of any such programs.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/30/2013 7:12:10 PM
NO RATINGS
William, I am very suspicious now about who you work for. I'm going to go Google Freddy the Fish and DARPA.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/30/2013 10:42:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Nobody will admit to anything.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/31/2013 12:31:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Isn't that the truth. That's why I'm using trusty old Google. It never fails!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/31/2013 3:27:12 PM
NO RATINGS
"good luck."

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/31/2013 4:40:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Glad you enjoyed my sarcasm, William. All kidding aside, Google can be a useful tool, but one must know how to evaluate sources.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/31/2013 7:48:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, it was not completely clear when things turned, so you did a good one on me. About Google; I have had quite a bit of serious frustration when attempting to find information about some product or system and the dumb google search instead turns up a hundred sites that want to sell me one, even if they don't have it and have no concept of what it is. At that point it becomes a first rate time waster.

But on the other topic, while invisibility in the normal sense is a big challenge, being un-noticed is a lot simpler, hence the comment about the missile launching dolphin and such. Consider how easy it would be for you to pass somebody by if a whole crowd were wearing AnnThryft masks. Spotting the real one is a challenge if they all look similar.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   6/3/2013 12:32:53 PM
NO RATINGS
William, I wasn't sure where your (usually) straightforward statements ended and tongue-in-cheek started, either. Re Google, I know what you mean: it's getting harder and harder to find good basic info instead of commercial/sales info. But that result was predicted when the Internet became commercialized.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Nautical Robots
apresher   4/25/2013 8:49:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Excellent slide show. It's interesting to see the different design concepts used for systems like this.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Nautical Robots
notarboca   4/28/2013 3:23:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice slideshow. A very interesting range of design styles and the thought that went into them.  All the sensor payloads are a science unto themselves.  One of the most interesting facts was that one of them had a magnetically coupled powertrain; great way to keep leaks from occurring under propulsion.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nautical Robots
Elizabeth M   4/29/2013 4:41:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Great slideshow, Ann. It's interesting to see the diversity and technology range of these robots, even while they share some features in common.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Anti-submarine warfare
Charles Murray   4/25/2013 7:10:42 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Anti-submarine warfare
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:48:00 PM
NO RATINGS
I too have had to spend some time in a few submarines.  And I agree it must be rough.  I always wondered if there wasn't a height limit on those serving in submarines.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Anti-submarine warfare
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:48:09 PM
NO RATINGS
I too have had to spend some time in a few submarines.  And I agree it must be rough.  I always wondered if there wasn't a height limit on those serving in submarines.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Anti-submarine warfare
Ann R. Thryft   4/30/2013 12:04:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, I'm with you. After seeing Cameron's The Abyss again, I'm reminded of my claustrophobia. I'm definitely not a candidate for submarine duty.

Measurementblues
User Rank
Silver
Nautical robot designed by students
Measurementblues   4/26/2013 8:28:30 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nautical robot designed by students
Ann R. Thryft   4/29/2013 12:36:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Martin, thanks for the link. Maybe I can include that one in the next nautical robot slideshow.

Measurementblues
User Rank
Silver
Re: Nautical robot designed by students
Measurementblues   4/29/2013 12:53:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, glad to help. Feel free to post relevant DesignNews links in a comment. BTW, the link I provided (repeated below) has links to three other robotics blogs.

Students Design Underwater Robot

Dangela
User Rank
Bronze
cool stuff
Dangela   4/26/2013 8:56:45 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: cool stuff
Ann R. Thryft   4/29/2013 12:37:09 PM
NO RATINGS
Dangela, clicking on the picture in the article starts the slideshow: it should open a new window and you'll see slide numbers at the top--Image 1 through 12--with a Next link.

Dangela
User Rank
Bronze
Re: cool stuff
Dangela   4/29/2013 12:54:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Images 1 through 12 each have a link as well. I'm suggesting having that link point to the next page. Now, on the page with image 10 on it for example, the image has a link to the current page with image 10 on it and "next" has a link to the next page with image 11 on it. Can't the image point to the next page also?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
William K.   4/26/2013 6:23:25 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
Ann R. Thryft   4/30/2013 12:05:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, William, glad you enjoyed the slideshow. I had the same reaction to the Styrofoam material on hydrocarbon lakes on Titan's moon. But this *IS* a prototype, and that material will no doubt be changed out along the way, after some of the basic ME design is under control.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
William K.   4/30/2013 9:18:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Of course it could be t6hat the material is just descriped as "styrofoam" even though it is one of those inorganic silicon based materials, or even a whote ceramic foam. And possibly purchasing substituted something"just as good".

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
Ann R. Thryft   5/2/2013 11:39:20 AM
NO RATINGS
William, the material is described as "fortified" Styrofoam, so I doubt it resembles much the stuff used in shipping containers.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
NAUTICAL ROBOTS
bobjengr   4/27/2013 12:32:02 PM
NO RATINGS
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. 

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: NAUTICAL ROBOTS
Debera Harward   4/27/2013 7:42:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Its an excellent slide show agreed and there will be no doubts in saying that Robotics are becomming more and more common these days and using robotics underwater is a very wise approach because it can be difficult and dangerous for a human to go underwater and explore.

Secondly according to the research most of the planets consist of water and water so using underwater robotics will help to investigate a lot in them as well.

But this is a rule of life that every technology has its pros and cons.One of the advantage is mentioned above only that majority of the planets consist of water and it can be helpful in doing research.Secondly it can be initially tested in pools.However the disadvantage is this that it can leak ,sink because no matter how accurately it has been created  its just an electronic development only.Secondly there are very less means of wireless communication and then because its an electronic device its every part is either a device and some devices stop working in water so it can  malfuunction as well

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: NAUTICAL ROBOTS
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:54:04 PM
NO RATINGS
You bring to light several of the challenges designing for underwater.  Thanks for sharing.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: NAUTICAL ROBOTS
jmiller   4/28/2013 2:51:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting thought.  How many of us think about what it would be like to design for robots underwater.  We are so used to thinking about designing in air.  Quite a challenge to design for underwater.  The drag, the water dynamics.  All of that could be quite a challenge.  We'd have to all go back to some of those fluid dynamics equations.  Great thought.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Take a look at the top 20 US undergraduate engineering programs. Then tell us -- did your school make the cut?
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
A Silicon Valley company has made the biggest splash yet in the high-performance end of the electric car market, announcing an EV that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and costs $529,000.
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service