http://www.visiontimes.com/?p=90697

OceanOne the Robotic Mermaid

OceanOne the humanoid robot made its maiden voyage 100 meters below the Mediterranean. Exploring the wreck of La Lune, the flagship of King Louis XIV that sank in 1664, 20 miles off the southern coast of France.

Stanford researchers developed the orange and black humanoid robot in “hopes that the robot will one day take on highly skilled underwater tasks too dangerous for human divers, as well as open up a whole new realm of ocean exploration.”

Oussama Khatib, a professor of computer science at Stanford, said in a statement:

The recent dive on the La Lune was a huge success, with artifacts being recovered. Stanford described the event in a statement, saying:

OceanOne is around five feet long, with its torso featuring a head with stereoscopic vision that allows the pilot to see exactly what the robot sees, and two fully articulated arms. The tail of the robot contains all the batteries and computers as well as eight multi-directional thrusters.

However, it’s the hands that really set it apart from the rest of its body with each of the fully articulated wrists being fitted with force sensors that relay haptic feedback to the pilot’s controls. This enables the pilot to feel whether the robot is grasping something firm and heavy, or light and delicate (there are plans to cover each finger with tactile sensors).

Khatib explains:

Although the pilot can take control at any moment, the robot is somewhat autonomous. It has sensors throughout its body to gauge current and turbulence, and can automatically activate its thrusters to remain in place.

OceanOne navigation system relies on its awareness of the environment, using both sensors and cameras; the data is then run through smart algorithms that help it to avoid collisions. If it senses that it won’t slow it down quickly enough, it will brace for impact using its arms.

Khatib said:

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