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The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

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The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea
2 The shape shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea


Dive into the world of underwater exploration, and you’ll find a new player making waves: HERO-BLUE. This isn’t your average remotely operated vehicle (ROV); it’s an innovative robot designed to tackle the challenges of the depths of the sea with a unique set of skills.

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The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

HERO-BLUE by the numbers

HERO-BLUE is a proof-of-concept robot, measuring 31.5 inches by 23.6 inches by 11.8 inches and weighing 24.9 pounds. It’s remotely controlled, but with its stereoscopic vision, the future could see HERO-BLUE operating autonomously, leading the charge in underwater exploration and research.

The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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A new breed of ROV

HERO-BLUE stands for “Hazardous and Extreme Environment Robot for Biomimetic multiLocomotion-based Underwater Expedition.” Developed by Taesik Kim and his team at South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology, this experimental device is inspired by the natural world. HERO-BLUE is equipped to swim, walk and crawl its way through the most challenging environments. The journal IEEE Transactions on Robotics has recently featured a publication detailing the research.

The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Swimming against the current

Traditional ROVs rely on electric thrusters to navigate the watery depths. However, these thrusters have limitations – they can get clogged with debris or struggle against strong currents. Enter HERO-BLUE, the robot that’s not just making a splash but is set to revolutionize underwater missions.

The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Fin-tastic design

What sets HERO-BLUE apart are its four multimodal fins and two lateral fins. These aren’t just any fins; they’re made of polymer panels connected by elastomer tendons, allowing them to be rigid or flexible as needed. This design enables HERO-BLUE to adapt its movement strategy on the fly – flapping through the water like a fish or walking along the seabed when currents prove too strong.

The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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The backbone of innovation

In shallow waters where swimming isn’t feasible, HERO-BLUE’s salamander-inspired spine comes into play. This flexible backbone allows the robot to wriggle forward, ensuring progress even in the trickiest conditions.

The shape-shifting underwater robot pioneering the depths of the sea

HERO-BLUE (POSTECH) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Kurt’s key takeaways

HERO-BLUE represents a significant leap forward in ROV technology. Its biomimetic design and multimodal locomotion capabilities position it as a potential game-changer for industries relying on underwater exploration and maintenance. As we look to the depths of our oceans for answers, robots like HERO-BLUE will be at the forefront, navigating the uncharted waters of innovation.

What ethical considerations should be taken into account when deploying robots like HERO-BLUE for underwater exploration, especially in sensitive or protected marine areas? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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