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May 03, 2016 06:30 AM EDT

Stanford Robotics Develops ‘OceanOne,’ A Breakthrough In Deep-Sea Exploration [VIDEO]

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The team at Stanford Robotics has recently developed a humanoid deep-sea diver. Dubbed "OceanOne," the robot was designed to help investigate undersea ruins and places deemed too dangerous for humans to explore themselves.

Oussama Khatib, Computer Science Professor and Director of Stanford's Robotics Lab, says that "'OceanOne' is aimed at bringing a new capability for underwater exploration." He emphasized that one of the project's major goals is to have a complete physical representation of a human explorer in the form of a machine.

This means that an array of sensory receptors must be integrated into the robot. They achieve this in part via a stereoscopic camera, as Telegraph reported. This also accounts for the humanoid form as design choice. It is about 5 feet in length, with limbs that function more or less like the arms and legs of an actual human being.

However, one of the most significant features that the robot has is the ability to relay the sense of touch. Through advances in haptics and artificial intelligence, the robotics team has developed technology that allows "OceanOne" to transmit what it feels.

If the robot touches a hundred-year old piece of metal underwater, the pilots above will also be able to experience how this piece of metal felt, texture and all. In Khatib's words, it adds another "dimension" to remotely-controlled explorations.

The anthropomorphic robot has already embarked on its first mission, and it was to the shipwreck of La Lune, The Verge reported. La Lune was the flagship of King Louis XIV, which sank somewhere off the coast of France in 1664. The latest expedition was a success, with the robot recovering ancient artifacts from the site.

Despite this achievement, "OceanOne" is still a prototype. While still on its early stages, the advancements made by the Stanford Robotics Lab promise a very bright future for underwater exploration, indeed.

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