Robots at Sea - Autonomous Underwater Electric Vehicles (Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air USA 2012)

Dr James Bellingham, Chief Technologist
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
United States
Mar 28, 2012.

Presentation Summary

For decades scientists have studied the ocean by going to sea on ships. We have been, at best, occasional visitors to the largest and most complex habitat on the planet. Today the ocean sciences are in the midst of a revolution. Developments in marine robotics, batteries, energy scavenging technology, sensors, and the information sciences are converging to enable a permanent presence in the ocean, not by humans, but by our robotic proxies. Mobile robotic vehicles, once a dream, are now a reality, and are taking a variety of forms and shapes for tasks such as mapping the deep seafloor and making measurements beneath sea-ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Monterey Bay with its complex ocean environment and deep canyon is serving as a proving ground for these advanced technologies. Early successes are leading to widespread adoption, and global networks of robots are on the horizon. These are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles AUVs. They are pure electric but some have fuel cell range extenders - technologies also pioneered by land and air.

Speaker Biography (James Bellingham)

As Chief Technologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Dr Bellingham identifies technical and engineering opportunities for the ocean sciences aligned with MBARI's strategic plan. He founded the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Laboratory at MIT and led it from 1988 to 2000. Jim co-founded Bluefin Robotics Corporation, a leading developer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, in 1997. Bluefin was purchased by Battelle in 2005. Jim has spent considerable time at sea, including leading 20 AUV expeditions to regions including the Arctic, Antarctic, North Atlantic, and far Pacific. Jim also member of a number of oversight and advisory groups, including the Naval Research Advisory Committee, the Strategic Advisory Group for Battelle's National Security Global Business, the board of Hawkes Remote Incorporated, and the Ocean X PRIZE advisory team. His honors and awards include the Lockheed Martin Award for Excellence in Ocean Science and Engineering, WHOI Steinbach Visiting Scholar, and Antarctic Service Awards from the US Navy and NSF.

Company Profile (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

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To carry out its mission, the institute has defined six main goals: 1, Identify important areas of marine science where research progress is limited by lack of appropriate technology. 2, Develop sophisticated systems for investigating aspects of the marine environment and its inhabitants where high scientific potential exists. 3, Meet the highest possible performance standards for the operation of its equipment and technological systems. 4, Conduct high-quality, innovative research that maximizes effective management and use of all MBARI assets. 5, Develop, in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, creative programs that maximize the educational value of MBARI's research results. 6, Transfer research results, technology, and operational techniques to the marine science community worldwide.
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