Wireless controller guides robot under water
October 05, 2010 // Nicolas Mokhoff
York University researchers have designed and built a waterproof controller enabling an underwater robot to go "wireless". Aqua, the Canadian built and designed robot, can be controlled wirelessly using a waterproof tablet built at York.
While underwater, divers can program the tablet to display tags onscreen, similar to bar codes read by smart phones. The robot’s on-board camera then scans these two-dimensional tags to receive and carry out commands.
Aqua is a small and nimble amphibious, otter-like robot with flippers rather than propellers that was designed for intricate data collection from shipwrecks and reefs.
The robot is a joint project of York, McGill and Dalhousie universities.
Cutting the cord on underwater robots has been a longstanding challenge for scientists; water interferes with radio signals, hindering traditional wireless communication via modem. Tethered communication is cumbersome and can create safety issues for divers.
"Having a robot tethered to a vehicle above water creates a scenario where communication between the diver, robot, and surface operator becomes quite complicated," said Michael Jenkin, professor in Toronto-based York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, in a statement.
“Investigating a shipwreck, for example, is a very delicate operation and the diver and robot need to be able to react quickly to changes in the environment. An error or a lag in communication could be dangerous," Jenkin said.
Jenkin and his team at York’s Center for Vision Research, including the paper’s lead author, MSc student Bart Verzijlenberg, constructing the AquaTable prototype that is watertight to a depth of 60 feet. Aluminum housing with a clear acrylic cover protects the tablet computer, which can be controlled by a diver using toggle-switches and on-screen prompts.
In the past, divers have used laminated flashcards to visually communicate with robots while underwater. However, these limit the diver to a preset sequence of commands.
Jenkin and Verzijlenberg’s paper will be presented at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Taiwan.
The engineering desk-to-bench ratio
November 21, 2014
Dennis Feucht discusses the right and wrong, senior and junior ways to organize the theoretical and practical work of an ...
Rohm's European Design Center in growth phase
Combo inertial sensor market on 19% CAGR, says Yole.
US, China pushing industrial chip market growth, says IHS
LA Auto Show: Hydrogen fuel cell drive is back
Opening up the IoT data flood gates
November 21, 2014
Only a few days after their LoRa long range communication demo at electronica, IBM and Semtech are making the LoRa MAC protocol ...
Polarizing filter reduces energy drain from smartphone displays
From warm to cool white: colour-temperature tunable LEDs
System provides high-volume solution for flexible OLED displays
- Halogen-free options and increased performance for terminal blocks
- Wireless Power User Guide
- Secure is the New Smart
- 5 Best Practices for Designing Flexible Test Stations
InterviewFreescale CEO: 'IoT isn't just buzz'
Coming after the solid third quarter results that produced higher operating margins and improving cash flow, Freescale Semiconductor's CEO Gregg Lowe had every reason to be chipper and lively when EE Times ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Cherry is giving away five of its Energy Harvesting Evaluation kits, worth over 266 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. Cherry's energy harvesting technology benefit mostly applications where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate.
The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.
Most popular news
- Could magnesium battery innovation end lithium's dominance?
- From warm to cool white: colour-temperature tunable LEDs
- Li-Fi communication module wirelessly transfers data at 1-Gbps
- Supercapacitor innovation promises panel-powered cars in five years
- Rebranding the revolution: the future of IoT is embedded