Stanford's humanoid robotic diver explores its first shipwreck

A gaggle of underwater archaeologists exploring the sunken stays of King Louis XIV’s flagship La Lune added a really particular member to their dive staff just lately. OceanOne, a Stanford-developed humanoid diving robotic with “human imaginative and prescient, haptic pressure suggestions and a man-made mind,” made its maiden voyage alongside human divers to recuperate seventeenth-century treasures from backside of the Mediterranean.

Stanford’s 5-foot “digital diver” was initially constructed for learning coral reefs within the Purple Sea the place a fragile contact is important, however the depths go nicely past the vary of meat-based mostly divers. The “tail” part accommodates the merbot’s onboard batteries, computer systems and array of eight thrusters, however it’s the entrance half that appears distinctly humanoid with two eyes for stereoscopic imaginative and prescient and two nimble, articulated arms.

These arms are what make OceanOne superb for fragile reef environments or priceless shipwrecks like La Lune, which sank off the coast of France over 350 years in the past and hasn’t been touched till now. Pressure sensors in every wrist transmit haptic suggestions to the pilot, permitting them to really feel the thing’s weight whereas staying excessive and dry on a dive ship. The robotic’s “mind” works with the tactile sensors to make sure the arms do not crush fragile objects, whereas the navigation system can mechanically hold the physique regular in turbulent seas.

With such a nimble platform, OceanOne may even show helpful in harmful undersea environments just like the Fukushima Daichi website that claimed 5 different robotic divers. Out of the blue, the imploded ghost of Nereus is wanting downright clunky.