Ocean One Lands on the Moon

OceanOne, a bimanual underwater humanoid robot with haptic feedback allows human pilots an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity. In collaboration with DRASSM, Ocean One embarked on the Andre Malraux to explore the wreck of La Lune, 100 meters below the Mediterranean. The flagship of King Louis XIV had sunk here, 20 miles off the southern coast of France, in 1664, and no human had explored its ruins – or the countless treasures and artifacts the ship once carried – in the centuries since it sank. On April 15, Ocean One recovered a grapefruit-size vase and returned it to the ship deck to the excitement of the archaeologists, engineers, and scientists who crowded around him. The expedition to La Lune was OceanOne's maiden voyage, and based on its astonishing success, it's hoped that the robot will one day take on highly-skilled underwater tasks too dangerous for human divers, as well as open up a whole new realm of ocean exploration.

The Team led by Oussama Khatib: Xiyang Yeh, Gerald Brantner, Brian Soe, Boyeon Kim, Mikael Jorda, Arjun V. Balasingam, Shameek Ganguly, Hannah Stuart, Mark Cutkosky, Shiquan Wang.

At Stanford

The concept for Ocean One was born from the need to study coral reefs deep in the Red Sea, far below the comfortable range of human divers. No existing robotic submarine could dive with the skill and care of a human diver.

Ocean One looks something like a robo-mermaid. Roughly five feet long from end to end, it features stereoscopic vision, two fully articulated arms, and eight thrusters.

Ocean One will become the physical avatar, allowing humans to dive virtually, putting the human out of harm's way.

The Mission

Each hand is fitted with force sensors that relay haptic feedback to the pilot's controls, so the human shares the sense of touch.

Ocean One swam between two cannons too closely. By performing a sort of pushup, the robot was free.

As the body moves and drifts, the arms adjust to keep its hands steady as it works.

At Sea

The human can provide the intuition and expertise and cognitive abilities to the robot, forming amazing synergy.

Its pilot can communicate through hand gestures during complex tasks or scientific experiments.

Ultimately, though, Ocean One was designed with an eye toward getting human divers out of harm's way.

Next month, Ocean One will return to Stanford campus, where the team will continue iterating on the platform

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