Most of us are already aware that robots are all about ready to steal our jobs. Now, researchers at the Stanford University are on their way developing an articulated robot that is capable of diving to explore shipwrecks underwater. With plenty of pirate treasures out there on the seabed, these robots are soon expected to amass significant wealth for its masters.
The robot is less than 5 tall and works on artificial intelligence and has a force feedback system that provides its controllers with a feel of stuff that the robot is holding. The front side of the robot resembles a human while the back is packed with computers, thrusters, and batteries.
Professor Oussama Khatib of the Stanford University is credited with designing the robot which is christened as Ocean One .
The robot promises to change the way underwater exploration is carried out, according to Khatib. Showcasing the abilities of the robot, the Professor added that it can manipulate objects such as a red basket. He added that the intention was to have a virtual diver acting as the physical representation of a human. The robot has stereo vision and two hands and humans sitting on a boat can even feel the activities of the robot deep under water.
Researchers added further that the robot can go places deep under water which are typically hazardous for humans. Maintenance of oil rigs has been quoted as an example of a hazardous or challenging activity for humans.
Maiden voyage of the robot was to explore a shipwreck during the 17th century of the French coast where the professor at the controls gathered a vase and deposited it delicately into a basket located some 300 feet under water.
For now, at least, the robot needs a human operator for monitoring and watching through a series of cameras. Nevertheless, it has its artificial intelligence as well as autonomy; operator intervention is essential to ensure that the robot does not inflict any damage to the delicate corals or similar events. The force feedback helps the human operator to control the robot with great precision.
Oceanographic researchers are hoping that the compact size of the robot will be significantly advantageous, particularly in dissecting parts of shipwrecks lying too deep closer to the seabed and out of reach for human divers and very small for the submarines.
Will the robot share any real loot that it finds Professor Khatib will soon find out.