Meet OceanOne – the friendlier face of subsea robotics
May 11, 2016
A few weeks ago we featured the incredible and strangely terrifying snake-like ROVs from Norwegian firm Eelume [LINK]. On the friendlier end of the spectrum is Stanford university’s OceanOne, a humanoid robot built for reaching the places divers cant.
According to the university, OceanOne “is powered by artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems, allowing human pilots an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity.” Around five feet long, its head features stereoscopic vision to allow the pilot to see exactly what the robot is seeing, while the tail section houses batteries, computer systems and 8 multi-directional thrusters.
Most important to OceanOne are its incredibly dextrous and sensor-rich hands,. “Each fully articulated wrist is fitted with force sensors that relay haptic feedback to the pilot’s controls, so the human can feel whether the robot is grasping something firm and heavy, or light and delicate. (Eventually, each finger will be covered with tactile sensors.)” Stanford explains.
Although its first deployment has been on archaeological missions, we can imagine a day very soon where this kind of haptic robot will be able to carry out complex construction, repair and maintenance at subsea sites.