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.
Astute launches Electromech division with key franchises
November 28, 2014
Astute Electronics, a supplier of electronic components and value added services, has launched a franchised electromechanical ...
The potential pot of gold in mobile marketing
electrolyte promises cheaper magnesium-sulfur batteries
Korea, France join forces on driverless cars R&D
Proton-conducting graphene membranes enhances fuel cell performance
Catcher drones to geo-fence industrial sites
November 27, 2014
Once more last October, drones were making the headlines in France, with unidentified units reportedly flying over the country's ...
Industry embraces 48V supply in the aim of bringing down emissions
ST, InvenSense X-Fab amongst MEMS award winners
Chip market for wireless sensor networks on 23% CAGR
- Common Mode Rejection in Wide Input Range Op Amps
- Power Systems Design eBook
- Halogen-free options and increased performance for terminal blocks
- Wireless Power User Guide
InterviewCEO interview: Vicor powers after higher volume applications
Patrizio Vinciarelli, is one of the longest serving CEOs in electronics, having founded Vicor in 1981 and led the company ever since. At Electronica he told EE Times Europe that his company is investing ...
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.