Robots can be amazing tools for search-and-rescue missions and environmental studies, but eventually they must return to a base to recharge their batteries and upload their data. That can be a challenge if your robot is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) exploring deep ocean waters.
Now, a Purdue University team has created a mobile docking system for AUVs, enabling them to perform longer tasks without the need for human intervention.
The team also has published papers on ways to adapt this docking system for AUVs that will explore extraterrestrial lakes, such as those of Jupiter and Saturn’s moons.
“My research focuses on persistent operation of robots in challenging environments,” said Nina Mahmoudian, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. “And there’s no more challenging environment than underwater.”
Once a marine robot submerges in water, it loses the ability to transmit and receive radio signals, including GPS data. Some may use acoustic