Building robots to battle threats beneath the sea

May 5, 2014 - via BMT Group

The port of Lisbon will host the latest in subaqueous security later this month when a pair of surveillance autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) demonstrate their capabilities.

A partnership between Bristol Robotics Laboratory, SonarSim and BMT Group developed the AUVs under the part-European Commission-funded four year research and development project Security Upgrade for Ports (SUPPORT).

The vehicles have been designed to address underwater threats in ports with a focus on cost effective use of technology to make the most of low-cost sensors.

"A common issue with security solutions and AUVs is the high cost of systems, therefore it was important for us to look at ways of designing a low cost solution which could help improve overall port security." commented Luke Speller, senior research scientist at BMT Group.

"A distinct differentiator is the AUV's ability to multi-task. Not only will it be possible for the AUV to provide 24 hour surveillance and monitor port infrastructure for particular threats such as UIED's (Underwater Improvised Explosive Devices), ports around the world could potentially use this intelligent machine to monitor pollution, conduct radiation testing or inspect the hull of a ship."

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Author:Gary Howard