Visiting an underwater shipwreck or a deep cave in the ocean is not an easy task. That is why the researchers have developed this little robot that looks like a turtle, to enable them to explore inaccessible places. We make you explore this new robotic innovation!
The U-CAT is a small robot that looks like a turtle, developed by the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. During one of its demonstrations at Safari Robot at the Science Museum of London, the device is capable of exploring the inaccessible seabed such as inspecting a shipwrecks or caves. The origins of this device can be traced back to the project arrows, that began in September 2012 and was funded by the European Union. The objective was to make underwater vehicles at low cost.
Once in the water, the U-CAT demonstrated the proof of great agility. With four independent fins, it can go forward, backward, up or down with ease. ”This robot can move without stirring the water and raising the mud which can result reduction in visibility within the wrecks ” says its designer, Taavi Salumäe. A camera positioned on the front of the machine allows it to image the places that it visits.
”U-Cat can be controlled remotely or run in an autonomous mode. The first option is only possible if the robot is connected with a cable. The idea is to use the mix of two modes. First, a human operator can guide the robot to the wreck, then the cable is disconnected and the robot takes on a standalone mode.” says the designer. The small size of the device gives it a clear advantage over plungers and bigger engines, currently used to visit inaccessible places.
This is a great innovation that is intended to safely explore numerous wrecks and underwater caves with much ease. U-CAT should be soon tested in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea. Do you think the seabed are still hiding many secrets?