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1999 Projects

Current Projects

Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Benthic processes
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Midwater research
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Upper ocean biogeochemistry
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New research platforms
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) ROV improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Mooring improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New in-situ Instruments
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Information management and archiving
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Education and outreach
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1998 Projects
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1997 Projects


1999 Projects: ROV improvements

Precision-control technologies for underwater vehicles

Project lead/manager: Steve Rock (adjunct)
Project team: David Clague, T. Craig Dawe, William Kirkwood, and Rob McEwen

The goal of this effort is to explore high-risk technologies that could potentially enable a wide range of autonomy in controlling autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). At one end of the spectrum of autonomous activities are pilot aids for ROV operation, such as automatic stationkeeping, point-and-click manipulator control, and automatic generation of mosaic (small seafloor maps). At the other end of the spectrum is the capability for fully autonomous AUV missions and for ROV tasks that do not require the full creativity of a human pilot.

The immediate focus of this project will be in two technology areas. The first is the development and demonstration of automatic, vision-based feedback control, where the computer utilizes the camera to perform a control task involving the vehicle or the manipulator. This frees the pilot to do other tasks. The second area of endeavor is the development of techniques for high-performance, task-level control (e.g. point-and-click) of manipulators that operate either from a fixed base—such as an ROV on the seafloor—or from a small, free-floating AUV.

An additional goal of this program is to provide a path through which scientists, engineers, and pilots at MBARI can influence doctoral-level research at Stanford University, such that new technologies can be explored that are of interest to MBARI but considered too high-risk for near-term development. This arrangement will also allow interested scientists, engineers, and pilots at MBARI to implement, test, and evaluate new concepts developed at Stanford.

Next: Mapping project

Last updated: 07 October 2004