Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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59 unmanned systems inside October/November 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. compartments—one holds clean water while the other is exposed to the water getting an- alyzed. The movement of these crustaceans is affected by water toxicity—by comparing how the Daphnia in the clean water move with those in the water getting analyzed, re- searchers can get a general idea of how con- taminated the water is. A third kind of sensor uses fish cells grown directly onto electrodes. When toxins are pres- ent, the cells no longer touch each other, inter- rupting the f low of electricity, a change that scientists can easily detect. Communications The Envirobot currently does not swim under- water. Rather, it swims on the surface, which helps it communicate with its operator, van der Meer said. To deploy an Envirobot on a mission, an op- erator sends instructions to the machine via WiFi. The robot pinpoints its own position via a GPS module and guides itself toward its goal using a nine degree-of-freedom inertial mea- surement unit with an accelerometer, magnet and compass, Bayat said. "All the computation is done onboard the robot using an embedded Linux computer," Bayat added, and if neces- sary, the operator can give new instructions to the Envirobot over WiFi. As the robot eel swims, its sensors take mea- surements, transmitting the data back to the operator in real-time. "The robot can also take a few water samples and transport these back while retaining the location of sampling," van der Meer said. Ideally, the robot would be able to decide for itself where to go—for instance, to follow a Hydromea's Vertex marine robots can operate in groups, self-coordinating to capture multi- point snapshots of a polluted area.

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