Skip to comments.Gulf oil disaster showcases need for better robotics
Posted on 06/02/2010 10:39:28 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
These small, autonomous robots are in addition to the big, remote-controlled industrial robots used by BP in its efforts to try to stanch the gushing oil well 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface. The smaller bots, known as gliders, are slowly prowling in the Gulf, gathering data for groups of oceanographers around the country to help them predict where the spilled oil will travel next.
It seems to be a mixed experience with robots so far in this national disaster, but one thing is clear: There is a need for better robotics in these deep sea waters.
"I think this will bring home to people that it is time to get serious about oceanic robots," said Paul Saffo, managing director of foresight at San Francisco-based Discern, and a consulting associate professor at Stanford University. "The oil industry and others are working at depths where humans cannot go. We have to have robotic proxies so the next time this happens, one can only hope there is an armada of robots."
Industrial robots have been deployed in several high-profile, but failed, efforts to shut down the leak, from trying to activate a broken blowout preventer on the wellhead deep in the Gulf, to positioning the 100-ton cofferdam that failed to stop the oil flow.
(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...
Blame the robotics..
We can go to the Moon and fix things, but we can’t go 5000 feet underwater?