Cuttlefish AUV pivots underwater to develop into a manipulator-armed ROV


With regards to underwater robots, some duties are simple to automate, whereas others are greatest dealt with by guide distant management. The Cuttlefish affords one of the best of each worlds, plus it cleverly modifications orientation when utilizing its two manipulator arms.

Developed by a group on the German Analysis Heart for Synthetic Intelligence (DFKI), the Cuttlefish AUV (autonomous underwater car) was created as a part of the bigger Mare-IT marine robotics challenge.

The battery-powered experimental craft measures 2.8 meters lengthy (9.2 ft), weighs 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) on land, is able to working at depths of as much as 1,500 m (4,921 ft), and might journey in any route because of its eight electrical thrusters. It additionally options three cameras (one in entrance, two on the underside), a set of LED spotlights, and two manipulator arms which fold into its underside when not in use.

Pictured here going for a test dive in a pool, the Cuttlefish can be equipped with peripheral devices such as sonar sensors, laser scanners and magnetometers

Pictured right here going for a take a look at dive in a pool, the Cuttlefish will be outfitted with peripheral gadgets similar to sonar sensors, laser scanners and magnetometers


The concept is that as a substitute of getting to be deployed from a floor vessel for every use, the Cuttlefish will probably be saved in a battery-charger-equipped underwater hangar situated close to a construction similar to an offshore oil platform or wind turbine. For routine duties similar to inspection of that construction, it’ll autonomously cruise out of its hangar and look issues over, staying in a horizontal orientation. It will likely be guided by its front-facing digital camera and AI-based algorithms operating on its onboard computer systems.

For extra advanced duties that require a human contact, nevertheless, a remotely situated operator will be capable of step in and take guide management of the Cuttlefish. They’ll talk with it in actual time through a fiber optic cable that runs up from the car to a satellite tv for pc communications buoy on the floor.

The Cuttlefish goes vertical to manipulate an underwater lever

The Cuttlefish goes vertical to govern an underwater lever


When coming into ROV (remotely operated car) mode, the Cuttlefish will pivot to hover in a vertical orientation. Its two arms, which had been beforehand on its underside, will then lengthen out from what’s now its entrance. The operator – sporting a Microsoft HoloLens VR headset – will management these arms through each voice instructions and a bodily controller, guided by a stereo video feed from the Cuttlefish’s two (previously) underside cameras.

There’s at the moment no phrase on when the Cuttlefish AUV could enter industrial use. For now, although, it may be seen in motion within the video beneath.

And for an additional instance of a manipulator-arm-equipped hybrid AUV/ROV, try Houston Mechatronics’ Aquanaut.

Mare-IT: Highly effective IT infrastructure for underwater upkeep with ground-breaking dual-arm AUV

Supply: DFKI through IEEE Spectrum