by David Geer
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Aqua Robot — a collaboration of participating universities including McGill
University, York University, and Dalhousie University (all in Canada) — swims beneath
the water and walks on land either autonomously or tethered to capture
environmental images for preservation efforts. While the results and conclusions
drawn from a 2005 study delving into the robot’s efficacy in aiding the fishing
industry remain confidential, many of the robot’s known research goals may give
us a peek into related applications.
Two different iterations of
the Aqua robot with flipper
legs for swimming.
of Dudek Lab,
10 SERVO 07.2010
There are many water applications. In
fact, according to Greg Dudek, director,
the School of Computer Science and
James McGill Chair, McGill University,
“The most ambitious goal is to have the
robot replace people for underwater
observation.” The robot could also
provide tools and lighting as it assists
people underwater, or collect data and
check on human investigators to see
that they are getting enough air.
Toward these ends, many technologies
and capabilities have been and are in
the process of being developed or
applied, including visual servoing,
better cameras, and machine vision for
color, motion, and texture recognition,
plus trinoculars, better computers and
processors, and more.
The first Aqua robot (Aqua 1.0) was completed
in 2004. The next model (the Aqua 1.5) was
completed around 2006-2007 and is named Ramius.
The current model — which is technically Aqua 2.0 —
is called the Kroy model.
Despite the continual development of newer