Monday, September 29, 2008
Undersea robots have until now operated like fixed-wing aircraft, requiring motion to maneuver. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers now say they have created the helicopter-of-the-sea, the Odyssey IV. Created in MIT's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Laboratory, the Odyssey IV can hover like a helicopter, enabling applications like inspecting deepwater oil rigs, observation of sea-bottom flora and fauna and other oceanographic research. The MIT lab has been designing and building undersea robots since the 1990s, but researchers claim the Odyssey IV is the first model to hover like a helicopter. The Odyssey IV completed its initial trials off Woods Hole, Mass., where it proved it can hover at depths of up to 6,000 meters (3.7 miles).
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 7:04 AM