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ROV enhancements

Automated arm control
Lead Scientist: Kurt Buck
Lead Engineer: Rob McEwen

MBARI has invested heavily in ROV technology to provide our scientists with unprecedented access to the deep ocean. Manual control of the ROVís manipulator is limited for many precision scientific operations. This project seeks to capitalize on that investment by improving the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of ROV manipulator operations and enabling scientists to perform more demanding tasks with the vehicle manipulator. Automation of repetitive tasks involving the robotic arm would substantially lighten the pilot workload, and decrease dive duration. For example, as it stands now, the arm pilot must manually maneuver the arm to the quiver, grasp, and withdraw a corer each time a core is taken. This is laborious and subject to error due to the lack of depth perception inherent in looking at a single flat screen image. Instead, the pilot could select a quiver location with the mouse on the TMACS GUI, and then the arm would automatically go there, grasp and withdraw the corer, and return to its previous position.