Saturday, October 27, 2012

Small Robot

Today at the BARC Saturday Talk, a program to share science with the community of Barrow, a group of engineers and technologists gave a brief talk and demo of their robot designed to travel on the underside of frozen lake ice. It is tethered, for now, with control signals and stereo video signals traveling on the tether. It moves very slowly as you will see on the video. This is my first attempt to upload video using the Blogger "Compose" window so consider this an experiment. The full video of the talk has been encoded but not readily available until a better publication method can be found...





Since I hadn't eaten much of anything today, I decided to go to Osaka's and have some of their wonderful Japanese food. I ordered the small sashimi platter and the sushi chef made me a complimentary roll as well. In addition, they threw in a nice bowl of rice with seaweed and sesame seeds. It was a wonderful treat as the quality of the sashimi is first rate. It was more food than I was planning on but you can't really turn down a gift...

The wind is really howling tonight. It was challenging just opening doors. It's a good thing that it isn't really cold as well...

Update Sunday Morning - Due to iOS viewing issues, I uploaded the video to YouTube first then re-inserted it into the post. My initial attempt was to just upload from the Blogger interface since I assumed that it would just put the video into YouTube, another Google property, but apparently not.

6 comments:

Erik R said...

Richard, the robot looked small until a human was in the picture. So the robot is buoyant, and crawls along the underside of lake ice and sends video back to the surface? Cool.

RichardM said...

Yes, the robot is buoyant so it travels on the underside of the ice. There are two cameras and they have a headset that the operator can wear while piloting the robot. They drove it around the conference room and let visitors try out the goggles. Wednesday was it's maiden voyage and they were happy to report that it didn't leak!

redlegsrides said...

Interesting concept Richard....what's the benefit of it hugging the underside of the ice vice just doing like other submersible drones and moving like a submarine?

dom

BeemerGirl said...

:( I can't see the video n the iPad. Will need to go to the computer...but it sounds interesting. Will it be used for human or environmental purposes more?

RichardM said...

I believe that one of the main benefits is cost. This is one of their examples of a relatively cheap robot. Really simple, only four motors and in this case they are looking at and potentially analyzing the gas bubbles trapped in the bottom of the ice. An ROV would be several orders of magnitude larger and cost.

RichardM said...

You should be able to see the video now. I uploaded to YouTube and linked to the video from there.

They mentioned that one of the initial tasks was to look at methane gas bubbles trapped under the ice. But in this case, that was almost secondary to the development of the technology for robotics "on the cheap".