Autonomous Underwater Robot Identifies Dangerous Naval Mines

Ryan Eustice, associate professor of naval architecture and marine engineering at the University of Michigan, has worked with Bluefin Robotics on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that conducts optical visual mapping and inspection of a ship's hull. High-resolution sonar images can be viewed in real time over the robot's fiber optic tether. The AUV can identify limpet mines on a ship, saving human divers from doing the dangerous job and doing away with present-day mapping and inspection methods that are time-consuming and imprecise.