The New Field Of Smart Marine Robotics.
We have probably all heard about self driving vehicle technology and have seen some of the latest cars from Uber and Google using the technology. You may not know that what makes this possible is the use of sensors, video cameras and the very latest in artificial intelligence science from developers like Nvidia.
A.I. is not only being used to develop land based self driving vehicles. It is also being used to find new planets ( in case we cannot live on this one anymore.), medicine and robotics just to name a few. Now there is tremendous interest in applying A.I. in the new field of marine robotics specifically for mapping and analysis of the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans. In fact MIT is offering a course just on this subject. ( see the video ).
Oceans makeup 70% of the Earth’s surface, yet we know very little about them. MIT students taking class 2.680: Unmanned Marine Vehicle Autonomy, Sensing and Communications aim to deepen our understanding by developing artificial intelligence for use on autonomous marine vehicles. Their software is put to the ultimate test while running missions of the Charles River.
I think that this is just the beginning for smart marine robotics. Using A.I. oil companies could develop marine robots that could do underwater repair and construction on oil rigs. Offshore wind farms could use such autonomous robots to install and maintain wind turbines that are miles from shore. At some point the entire ships that are used for this could be completely autonomous roaming the oceans, charged by the sun and the waves, keeping our offshore power grid functional.
I read recently that a new island of plastic, the size of Mexico has been found in the ocean. Maybe we could develop a robotic housekeeper to find and remove such debris before it impacts marine life.
We are at the early stages for marine robotics and it is very exciting to see the research being directed into it.