Former NASA Engineers Building Real-Life Underwater Transformer.
In its ROV mode, Aquanaut has two arms for doing work.
A transformer designed to do grunt work for the oil industry and the military is coming, and it’s admittedly kind of fun to look at.
Houston Mechatronics, a small company founded and led by a team of former NASA robot engineers, May 1 some major strides toward building a transforming submersible the company calls "Aquanaut." The 2, 315-pound (1, 050 kilograms) unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) will transform itself in order to operate in two modes, according to the company: a sleek, submarine-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) mode and an unfolded, two-armed remotely operated vehicle (ROV) mode for work.
Aquanaut will swim through the water in its sleek AUV mode.
When Aquanaut moves through the water, we want as little drag as possible to extend the maximum range of what the vehicle can do on battery power, " Houston Mechatronics spokesperson Sean Halpin said. "By enclosing the limbs, we're able to operate the vehicle over great distances, up to 200 kilometers [124 miles]
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