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Development of an Embedded Autonomous Robot Platform for Underwater Maintenance Operations

Summary

DMC developed an embedded autonomous robot platform for performing underwater maintenance operations.

Customer Benefits

  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Customizable platform
  • Improved overall performance over traditional solutions

Technologies

  • STM32 ARM Cortex M4 processor
  • High power brushed H-Bridge motor drives
  • Robust industrial RS485 communications
  • Silicon Labs Bluegiga BGM111 / BLE113 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • High-speed data sampling
  • Advanced Data logging
  • Custom bootloader permitting field firmware updates
  • Intelligent algorithms to optimize orientation and path routing
  • Built-in diagnostics

Solution

DMC worked with our client to develop an embedded autonomous robot platform for performing underwater maintenance operations. The robotic platform eliminates or greatly reduces time-consuming activities typically performed maintenance personnel. The robot has all of the necessary equipment onboard to perform the required maintenance operations. It can operate fully autonomously or it can be monitored and controlled from the surface using a mobile app. The robot is equipped with optical and gravimetric sensors for proper environmental sensing and navigation. 

Although the robot’s automated algorithms cannot match the performance of a trained person, its overall throughput is higher due to its ability to operate continuously day or night, in all weather conditions. The platform has field upgradeable software, and updates can be seamlessly pushed to the device even during operation. 

Each motor driver and power distribution system within the device was designed to protect against overload and major component failure (such as a stalled motor). System failures are immediately detected and relayed to the base station which alerts the appropriate personnel via Bluetooth or via the web using a Wi-Fi connection.

Posted in Consumer Goods, Custom Software and Hardware Development, Embedded Development and Embedded Programming

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