OceanOne – a waterproof humanoid

OceanOne – a waterproof humanoid

Humans can do a lot of things – but they cannot breath under the water. This makes us incapable of behaving freely in the ocean. To explore it we need a help, but since we know that mermaids doesn’t exist we need to use other ideas – like OceanOne. Robotic mermaid.

OceanOne is a robot designed by computer scientists at Stanford University to help in underwater researches. It is equipped with artificial intelligence so it can do things like avoid obstacles on its own and has  stereo vision — the better to watch what its hands are doing, but it cannot be totally unassisted. OceanOne needs a human to operate it from the ocean surface.

The robot is equipped with haptic feedback so the operator can judge the force of the hands’ grip. Thanks to this – in the end of April, a 17th-century vase was able to be retrieved from a 350-year-old shipwreck.

However, what is the most interesting, is the designers idea to create OceanOne as a anthropomorphic robot. In the ocean, humanoid is out of place – many experts claims, that with another shape,  underwater robot might be better equipped to explore deep sea floors or monitor undersea oil drilling. Have “a friendly face for this tasks (as designer of the OceanOne, Oussama Khatib have underlined) – is just redundant. The opinion of Dr. Khatib is quite opposite – “We are creating your avatar”, he said. The humanoid form, enables fine control of grasping movements, and makes it intuitive for a person to operate. Humans working alongside OceanOne can relate to it almost as if it were a dive buddy. And the operator is able to communicate with those divers by using hand signs.

OceanOne has a “friendly face” but is legless. Unlike a mermaid, his aft is a motor – not a tail.

Source: nytimes.com

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