I am sitting in my very first discussion round at the ESOF 2014 with the title “Robotics for the next-generation ocean science”. Two Oceanographs and two robotics speakers discussed and answered questions about the field of marine robotics. A really exciting field of problems that should be solved in order to understand our planet earth better. There are many scales (daily changes / monthly changes / seasons / decade changes) of the way the ocean changes (let’s call it ocean weather). We understand the atmosphere (the air above our heads) very we’ll and you get a accurate weather report for the next couple of days no matter where you live. But here is no data to create weather model for the ocean. So we need more data.

Remotely controlled vehicles are limited by the range of the vessel it is attached to (Pay slips, gas, food. 10,000 to 12,000$ per day). If you want to dive without a cable, you need some kind of radio control. But how do radio waves propagate in the ocean - they don’t. The only thing that you can do is a ping. That’s why we need ,achenes that adapt themselves on the fly. The environment is very hazardous and it is not easy to operate in deep space. Many interesting possibilities for machine learning!

There mua be some kind of machine that is cheap to proouce, that acts on his own and harvests energy while it dives/floats/…

There is not a single big agency like NASA or ESA. Wheel is invented many times. There is not enough money to invent all the technology - that’s why they use laptop technology to build robots. Biotech produces very good ideas to build better machines, when you look at jellyfish or other animals that live in the ocean.

I am looking for all the other talks during the next couple of days :)

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23 June 2014