CoCoRo: 3D printed mini-submarine robots for marine exploration
To help us find hidden mysteries of the marine ecosystem, Underwater Autonomous Vehicles have become a norm. Since, these UAV are very expensive, inefficient and time consuming to build, student from various universities, led by Artificial Life Lab of the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz have developed 3D printed CoCoRo, Collective Cognitve Robots, which measure 6-inches long and 7-inches high. CoCoRo are a group of 40 mini-submarine robots, each weighing half a kilo, that work together to perform complex task underwater.
Made at economical cost, the lightweight 3D printed Collective Cognitve Robots are based on the concept of Swarm Robotics, which means the group of small robots are capable of working in collaboration with each other to carry out compound tasks at lower costs than a single advanced underwater robot. To perform the tasks in harmony, each CoCoRo bot is embedded with sensors that helps them navigate their surrounding and move in three-dimensions perceiving change in light and temperature.
In order to communicate with each other most effectively, the robots are equipped with sensors to predict sound and simulate bioelectric fields. The bots also use blue LED embedded ohi hi on their body to communicate through light signals. Interestingly, the Collective Cognitve Robots are fitted with propellers and artificial swim bladders, which keep them afloat in all kinds of waters.
University of Graz has worked in collaboration with Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, University of Stuttgart, Germany, University of York, UK, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium to develop the CoCoRo. Collective Cognitve Robots project has received 3 million euros as funding and is in its final phase. The CoCoRO will be tested sometime in fall this year.