Monday, August 12, 2013

Crabster ROV to Investigate Shipwrecks, Recover Treasure

The Crabster [ROV] is lowered to the seafloor by crane and remains attached to an umbilical for power, limiting where it can go but allowing for continuous operation. Four operators remotely drive the robot from the surface—directing and monitoring its movement, manipulators, cameras, lights, and sonar.

On the seafloor, the half-ton robot illuminates murky water with a spotlight, records what it sees with ten onboard cameras, and uses its two front legs to pick up and manipulate objects. Researchers hope to send Crabster to explore shipwrecks where they can return small treasures in the robot’s retractable tray. They’ll haul larger objects by attaching a tow cable connected to the vessel above.

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