Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crawler Reconnaissance: Coming Soon To A Beach Near You

Date:
July 7, 2003
Source:
Office Of Naval Research
Summary:
90-lb, fully autonomous amphibious reconnaissance vehicles may look like no more than overgrown remotely operated toy tanks, but they have been used to search under the World Trade Center after 9/11, to search Afghan caves, to look at underwater wreckage off Normandy's beaches, and several are now currently deployed in Iraq.

It can follow a search instruction plan, classify, and map underwater mines in turbulent ocean surf zones. It travels about 6 feet per second on land, and about 2 feet per second in the water. It avoids obstacles. These 90-lb, fully autonomous amphibious reconnaissance vehicles may look like no more than overgrown remotely operated toy tanks, but they have been used to search under the World Trade Center after 9/11, to search Afghan caves, to look at underwater wreckage off Normandy's beaches, and several are now currently deployed in Iraq.

Funded by Tom Swean at the Office of Naval Research, the Surf Zone Crawlers are being built for the Navy by Foster-Miller, Inc. in Waltham, MA in partnership with the Naval Coastal Systems Station as one possible answer to the perennial problem of bottom mine detection in very shallow waters and the surf zone. It is based on a platform by Foster-Miller called the Tactical Adaptable Robot, which operates on land. The underwater concept – now called the Surf Zone Crawler – is to release one or many crawlers to search predetermined regions of the sea bottom, and to determine whether an area is mined or not and what type of threat exists. Then, Reacquisition-Identification-Neutralization (RIN) missions can be performed using these bottom-crawling robots. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robotic crawler checking caves in Zabol Province, Afghanistan (11 Mar 03). During Operation Carpathian Thunder soldiers of the 731st EOD along with Romanian forces from Kandahar Army Airfield, Afghanistan, use a robot to check caves in the Zabol Province for suspected Taliban and weapon caches. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Full size image available through contact

"The key components of underwater robotic reconnaissance," says Swean, "are search and area coverage, sensing and discrimination of bottom objects, communications, and the autonomous control of single as well as multiple platforms. The goal is to use these robots to exhaustively scout and map potential approach lanes for amphibious naval operations. Control, navigation, communication, and sensor payload are the key issues."

"Each of these robots carries a suite of sensors to detect mines and obstacles and reject clutter," says Mitch Gavrilash at the Naval Sea Systems Command's Naval Coastal Systems Station in Panama City, FL. "When it detects what it determines is a threat object, it reports to a remote human operator and provides an image for identification." The maps and images are then stored electronically for future avoidance or neutralization missions.

The Surf Zone Crawler can be configured with various battery, sensor and payload options, such as sonars, cameras, metal detectors, tactile sensors (they know what they bump into once they bump into it), and in the near future, chemical-biological sensors. It operates for 4 -6 hours on lithium batteries, and can travel about 7 nautical miles in water during that time.

The longer range goal of this research is to develop teams of robots to work cooperatively together to hunt and neutralize mines. "Communication bandwidth is a real issue," says Swean, "as is the interoperability of several crawlers working together. It's one thing to communicate above water – that's fairly simple – but it's quite another to do it underwater. Acoustic modems are being developed, but they can only send a limited amount of information. This is our current challenge."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Office Of Naval Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Office Of Naval Research. "Crawler Reconnaissance: Coming Soon To A Beach Near You." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701224724.htm>.
Office Of Naval Research. (2003, July 7). Crawler Reconnaissance: Coming Soon To A Beach Near You. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701224724.htm
Office Of Naval Research. "Crawler Reconnaissance: Coming Soon To A Beach Near You." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030701224724.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos. The company describes possible benefits to blind people. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Formerly courted by Facebook, Titan Aerospace will become a part of Google's quest to blanket the world in Internet connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins