A patch goes to Antoine Martin who provided these links including video of the Italian made Ageotec Perseo ROV being deployed by the Italian Fire Department (still not clear if it is a municipality or a group like FEMA). Check it out! Video from robotsnob, Ageotec’s site, and a full frontal view of the ROV.
The news of the Costa Concordia sinking is tragic and our hearts go out to the families and victims. CRASAR has put out offers to assist with underwater vehicles such as those used for the tsunami response in Japan. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in particular have been used to extensively to help gather forensic data on sinkings and to help divers repair and refloat ships. ROVs in this case could assist with victim recovery from the icy waters, as sadly time is running out for live rescues. The Italian Coast Guard used an ROV to search for the missing balloonists last year, so it is likely that an ROV is in use, though there is no confirmation. A CRASAR patch to the first person who can confirm the use of ROVs!
Several groups are reporting on Prof. Bob Full’s lab work in tails for robots based on the ways lizards use tail to counterbalance but also steer when they jump! I was interviewed for comments. I’m a big fan of Bob’s. This would have been fantastic to have a small robot that could steer itself as it was lowered (or jumped) from ledge to ledge at the Midas Gold Mine disaster back in 2007. And many robots use some sort of shifting weight like a flipper or a manipulator arm or its shape to try to get over obstacles or down stairs without tipping. Check it out!