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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Next Generation Robotics from Norway

The future developments of the marine industries and infrastructure require new structures and facilities such as vessels with higher speed for transport, deep-water operations and sea-farms in more exposed sites than at present.

Underwater Robot Arm for 3000 kg lift
In January 2010 a team of Norwegian Seabed Rig demonstrated autonomous grasping and real-time control of an underwater robot arm designed to lift 3000 kg, one of the most powerful robot arms in the world. The arm is being controlled by patented Actin control software from Energid , which simplifies development and allows for smooth, safe, intelligent control. The arm is coupled with a novel underactuated hand being developed by Stanford University.The hand is inherently compliant—allowing it to wrap around a variety of objects without relying on a priori knowledge of the objects’ geometry.

The arm and hand are designed to operate on an autonomous undersea oil rig being created by Seabed Rig for oil exploration in ultra-deep and arctic regions. Seabed Rig is developing this innovative sea bed drilling rig to carry out cost-effective drilling from a location at the sea bed, at deep waters and in arctic areas. The Seabed Rig is unmanned with automated and robotized working operations that are remotely controlled from an interactive 3D interface.

World’s smallest unmanned aircraft systems
On February 1st Prox Dynamics lifted off its eighth prototype, Hornet-4a, a 16 grams aircraft with an enclosed aerodynamic body and a complete set of flight sensors, GPS and a nose mounted camera. The micro UAV has been flown outside in sub zero temperatures, and has achieved more than 20 minutes endurance with all systems running.

The PD-100 Black Hornet is the first Personal Unmanned Aircraft System to be developed for military use. It will provide soldiers with their own immediate Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability for operations indoors, in confined areas and even outdoors.
A complete system comprises three ready to fly 15 grams nanocopters located inside the pocket sized Ground Control Station. Total weight of the system will be less than one kg. Expected operational early 2011.

Center for Advanced Robotics
The Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro has cooperated with SINTEF and the Norwegian Univ. of Science And Technology (NTNU) since 2007 and financed the Gemini Center for Advanced Robotics in Trondheim. A new concept for a remotely operated oil & gas platform located offshore is developed including research on robotics and instrumentation systems for the new platform. The goal is to develop this platform within 2015.

Snake Robots for rescue and fire fighting mission
WheeKo is a snake robot with passive wheels, developed at NTNU and SINTEF. Pål Liljebäck is the designer and creator of this robot.

Next Generation Robotics for Norwegian Industry
Since 2009 Norwegian industry and SINTEF work together to develop enabling technology for next generation robotics for the Norwegian industry. The five year 36 million NOK project will run until 2014 and is co-financed by the Research Council of Norway and the industrial partners.

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