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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Future Seabed Explorers

Experts had just made the first underwater robot named U-CAT. This turtle-shaped robot has excellent movement. U-CAT Robot exhibited at Robot Safari in the London Science Museum, was designed such that it can go in and writhed in the shipwrecks.
The robot was designed with fins instead of propellers so it can still be driven in all directions without disturbing water and beating up silt from the bottom, which would decrease visibility inside the shipwreck. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
The movement principle of U-CAT robot is similar to sea turtles. It could automatically control of four fin, making this robot in a dynamic maneuver. U-CAT can swim back and forth, up and down, and turn in all directions. Maneuver is the feature needed when checking narrow spaces such as in shipwrecks. In the water, U-CAT robot was bring onboard camera can record a video so it can be used to reconstruct underwater sites.
Here, the U-Cat robotic turtle explores a simulation of a wreck in a demonstration. It has a camera onboard and can record what it sees so video footage can later be used to reconstruct a site underwater. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
"U-CAT is specifically designed for users who want to identify the bottom of the sea. The U-CAT fins could drive the robot in any direction without stirring up mud from the bottom of the water that will decrease visibility," said Taavi Salumäe, a designer of U-CAT robot concept and researchers from the Center for Biorobotic in Tallinn University of Technology. Underwater robots now widely used by the oil and gas industry as well as to maintain the sea defenses.
Tallinn University of Technology, Centre for Biorobotics, Estonia, has created 'ARROWS' - an archaeology robot designed to dive to dangerous depths. The robotic turtle can operate independently, inspecting wrecks for hours before resurfacing, and has not been shown in the UK before. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
For the purposes of identification of the shipwrecks, the robot is still too big and expensive. Today, the shipwrecks was explored by divers. However, this dive was consuming time and cost not a bit. The diving procedures are also considered dangerous for divers. U-CAT was designed with the aim of offering an affordable alternative to human divers.
U-CAT, pictured here out of water, has been designed to be smaller and cheaper than underwater exploration vehicles used in the gas, oil and defense industries. (Picture from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
U-CAT robot is part of the ARROWS European Union research project funding, which is developing technology to help underwater archaeologist. Technology of ARROWS project will be tested in the Mediterranean Sea and the Baltic Sea, the two European historic regions in the different environment.
"In the ARROWS project, U-CAT will work closely with the bigger underwater robot project and jointly developing image recognition technology for the discovery, identification and reconstruction of underwater sites," said Dr. Sebastiano Tusa, an underwater archaeologist of the Local Government Sicily.

At the London Science Museum, the team showing the U-CAT robot and an interactive model of U-CAT movement that operates in an aquarium.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DAILYMAIL]
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