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.
Micrel's 10 criteria for choosing a MEMS foundry
April 18, 2014
Micrel Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has prepared an article that lays out the 10 criteria to help guide someone in the choice ...
Superconducting qbits made immune to quasiparticle energy loss
The Filter Wizard: Just add a transistor
Mobile display revenues soar, leaving TV behind
European organic PV project aims for material gains
Nanomaterial-packed cathode extends range of EV lithium-sulfur batteries
April 17, 2014
Researchers at the USA's Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a metal organic framework ...
Wearable computing market on 78% CAGR through 2018
OLED TV shipment delays stall OLED material growth
BMW updates navigation via mobile radio connection
- USB 5V 2.5A Output, 42V Input Synchronous Buck with Cable Drop Compensation
- Measurement applications across multiple test platforms
- Supplying DC input power to string inverters
- Supplying DC input power for HEV testing
InterviewHeartbleed challenges the Internet of Thing
The Heartbleed security bug is a key example of the fundamental security challenge for the Internet of Things says Green Hills Software as it launches a new security group.
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, Arrow Electronics is giving away ten XMC1200 lighting application kits, worth 100 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Each kit combines Infineon’s brightness and colour control XMC1200 CPU board to drive flicker free LED dimming and colour changing, together with a colour LED card and a white LED card.
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.