Robotics Science
Record-vying transatlantic robot submarine at sea
rutgers_scarlet_knight_AOV.jpg

The Scarlet Knight, named for sponsoring Rutgers University’s mascot, is a cruise-missile-shaped autonomous ROV that was launched off the New Jersey coastline on April 27. If all goes according to plan, the Rutgers team will recover it off the westernmost coast of Spain right around Christmas day. That happy event would mark the first successful underwater crossing of the Atlantic by an unmanned vehicle. At the mission website, you can track the robot’s position using Google Earth, monitor her battery status, and follow the team’s navigation blog.

8 thoughts on “Record-vying transatlantic robot submarine at sea

  1. Very cool project and should be fun to follow. It isn’t “autonomous”, though – per their site, the team is driving it by sending directional changes each day.

    1. It’s a good point. My readings indicate that folks who do wireless ROVs quibble about what constitutes “autonomy.” Lots of people use the term to desribe a wireless ROV that operates without a mother ship nearby. In which case the Scarlet Knight qualifies. But if you take “autonomous” in a more robust sense, e.g. to mean that all you have to do is turn to the robot and say “Swim to Europe,” and then it goes and swims to Europe, then no, it’s not.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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