MIT's version of the "robotoddler" is just the latest MIT entry in the world of robots that can move themselves in a variety of settings. There's still a long way to go before today's robots evolve into practical, everyday technologies, but even now, autonomous robotic vehicles developed at MIT are exploring uncharted or hazardous places, assisting troops in combat and performing household tasks. In addition to his well-known work on humanoid robots such as Kismet, Professor Rodney Brooks led the development of several robotic vehicles and co-founded a company, iRobot, that develops these machines commercially. Troops in Afghanistan use PackBots to explore enemy caves, and soldiers in Iraq use them to detect improvised explosive devices and inspect weapons caches. "In 20 years, we've gone from robots that can hardly maneuver around objects to ones that can navigate in unstructured environments," said Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
You have access to this full article to experience the outstanding content available to SPE members and JPT subscribers. To ensure continued access to JPT's content, please Sign In, JOIN SPE, or Subscribe to JPT Marine mining initiatives open a new field of subsea operations. Offshore oil and gas sites are still located primarily in areas where divers can support maintenance and repair requirements, but future marine mining will take place in greater depths and with a complexity of machines that requires support from robotic systems equipped with a substantial amount of artificial intelligence (AI). Technologies are being developed that have the potential to support marine mining in all stages from prospection to decommissioning. These developments will likely have substantial influence in the oil and gas industry, itself searching for ways to maximize exploitation of assets.
While bomb disposal robots have become a a common sight on land, the US Navy is now hoping to use them underwater as well. It hopes the robo-hands will be able to search harbours, piers and even ships for IEDs. Once found, the hands are so dexterous they will be able to safety diffuse the device and remove it, the researchers hope. The'underwater dual manipulator system' has two robot arms, and will be put onto an underwater drone to look for, and defuse IEDs. The robot arms will be attached to a US Navy underwater drone.
Autonomous Robotics, a subsidiary of listed company Thalassa, is to collaborate with Robert Gordon University to conduct research on swarm technology of autonomous underwater vehicles in the North Sea. The work is supported by the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre. The purpose of this research is to further enhance the capability of the'flying node' system and further reduce the cost and time for ocean bottom seismic surveys. The Swarm Technology research will be performed by Dr Wai-keung Fung and Mr Adham Sabra, who are with the Communications and Autonomous Systems Group within the School of Engineering, with results are expected within 12 months. Chairman Dave Grant said: "ARL are working with RGU to research and create a practical localisation system for the flying node system which will allow the flying nodes to operate in a swarm and move from their initial seabed position to a new seabed location.
Sonar is commonly used to map the ocean floor, and seabed composition (e.g. Salinity, depth and water temperature also affect how sound waves are propagated through water. This means that sonar measurements at different depths and distances can give accurate soundings of the ocean's properties, for example how underwater currents propagate, how the deeper ocean changes with the climate or where best to listen to whales. Working with Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd (SEA), scientists at the University's Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm which could improve underwater mapping by making sense of incomplete data and working out how many measurements are needed to give an accurate survey. The research was part of a project contracted by The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), a part of the Ministry of Defence, to improve monitoring of the UK's vast marine territories using high tech sonar.