Students build underwater mine-detecting robot from household junk

Jul 9, 2012
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Students build underwater mine-detecting robot from household junk

A group of students from the University of the West of England designed a robot built from recycled materials that that could help detect underwater mines. The robot has been constructed out of household parts, spare car parts and an Internet router. It even features a camera taken from a PlayStation 3, fan guards from a computer and a Land Rover’s reversing light.

The robot has been entered into an international competition for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in Italy this week. AUVs generally use sensors and sonar to figure out locations and carry out tasks that have been pre-programmed into them. Team leader Gareth Griffiths said that one of the biggest challenges the team has faced includes building the AUV to be tough enough to work in such hostile environments, like murky deep waters, but advanced enough to be sealed tight for underwater journeys and relatively lightweight at the same time.

If everything goes according to plan, the AUV constructed entirely out of recycled junk could work comparably well to real AUVs in detecting mines. AUVs can also be used to inspect oil rigs or to clean the structural bases of sea wind farms and need to have excellent tracking and vision sensors to ensure safe and accurate movement underwater.

[via Daily Mail]


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