When research and discovery robot OceanOneK plunged into Deep Dive Dubai, it exhibited its multifaceted capabilities, reflecting its commitment to advancing underwater technology. From playing billiards to hunting for treasures, the robot's adaptability reveals the untapped potential below the surface.
The Robotic Lab at Stanford University, led by Professor Oussama Khatib, developed OceanOneK. In an interview with Khaleej Times, Khatib revealed, "This robot had carried out various tasks from exploring the submerged aircraft and sunken ships to discovering artefacts dating back to the 16th century."
This event celebrated the profound connection between humans and the underwater world, exemplified by OceanOneK's seamless interaction with its surroundings.
OceanOneK is a unique humanoid robot with a slender design featuring eight thrusters for precise underwater navigation. This advanced robot is equipped with a haptic system that enables it to perceive and interact with its environment through touch, akin to human tactile sensation. The haptic interface may include tactile sensors that detect the forces exerted by the user, allowing OceanOneK to interact with objects in a manner similar to how humans use their sense of touch and vision.
Featuring a movable head equipped with two cameras for visual perception, OceanOneK boasts a pair of dexterous arms with fingers capable of grasping and manipulating objects, mirroring human capabilities. This robot can venture to depths of up to 1,000 metres, earning it the name 'OneK'.
The robot's haptic feedback system and stereoscopic vision recreate remarkably realistic sensations akin to what a person encounters while underwater diving. This means that when an operator manipulates the controls to guide OceanOneK, the robot's haptic feedback system lets the operator physically perceive the underwater environment, including intricate details such as the shapes and textures of ancient artefacts.
While Khatib controlled the robot using the haptic device, he felt the sensation of being submerged underwater. He could observe various colours, including shades of pink, green, maroon, white, and other hues, and multiple objects within the pool.
He could physically feel the water through the robot's integrated cameras and observe other things. "The camera can capture the surroundings in 3D, which can be viewed on the screen in the control room. Wearing a 3D glass, it feels like we are experiencing in real-time," said Khatib.
When asked about the weight OceanOneK can carry, Khatib said: "The weight of objects under water is considerably reduced, and it is generally easier to lift an object through the water. So, in that case, this robot can carry up to 5 kilograms of submerged objects," said Khatib.
The robot requires electricity to operate and has a battery life of about 40 minutes and a cable connector to charge. "We are descending a cable with power along with the robot. In the future, we will have power backups floating on the surface connected to the robot for expeditions and missions," said Khatib.
Abdulla Binhabtoor, chief portfolio management officer, Shamal Holding, said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Oussama Khatib and his team to Deep Dive Dubai, providing a unique showcase of the future of underwater exploration. The collaboration between Stanford University's Robotic Lab and Deep Dive Dubai evokes Dubai's spirit of exploration, discovery, and enjoyment.
"We are proud to play an active role in positively contributing to Dubai's long-term ambitions, working with world-class partners to push the boundaries of innovation and technology as we continue to invest in the extraordinary, generating meaningful and sustainable returns."
The OceanOneK's ability to seamlessly interact with its surroundings sets a new standard for underwater robotics and opens innovative paths for research and discovery.
"At Deep Dive Dubai, we firmly believe that diving is not just a sport but a spirit of exploration that fuels our collective imagination. We encourage individuals to test their limits and plunge into new depths, both figuratively and literally," said Jarrod Jablonski, director of Deep Dive Dubai.
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