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Mahindra Ecole Centrale develops computer-controlled underwater robot

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 10, 2020 Published on January 10, 2020

It is an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, widely used in marine science.

Mahindra Ecole Centrale (MEC) College of engineering has developed a computer-controlled robot that can be operated underwater. Named ‘Black Pearl’, the robot is an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that is a self-propelled, unmanned, untethered and capable of carrying out simple activities with little or no human supervision.

AUVs operate independently of humans and are self-guiding self-powered vehicles. Theyare used widely in marine sciences, and are also being tested by commercial, civil and defence sectors.

A team of eight MEC graduate students mentored by professors made the prototype by integrating of computer science, mechanical, electrical and electronics engineering. The AUV is currently capable of carrying out navigational and other tasks, pre-fed into its memory with good precision and near-zero error, it claimed in a statement.

Black Pearl weighs 19.6 kgs, and carries power through a Lithium Polymer Battery. Powered by NVidia Jetson Nano Single board computer and Arduino micro controller, it is a free-swimming, untethered robot with both vertical and horizontal cameras to take quality images.

The AUV is at present capable of executing instructions that have been hard coded into it, with high accuracy and minimal error. Over the span of the next few months it would be capable of taking inputs from the sensors (depth, echosounder, camera), process them, and based on the data, navigate its trajectory so that it can avoid obstacles, retrieve objects from the water floor and carry out dedicated missions, the statement said.

“Our students continue to exhibit strong interests in R&D and creativity in building workable prototype devices and gadgets for different segments. We endeavour to be creating new engineers who work on complex projects, sharpen their technical and project management skills becoming more competitive, innovative and future-ready, ” says Yajulu Medury, Director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale.

MEC is an international technology school that marked the foray of the $20.7 billion Mahindra Group into the higher education sector.

Mahindra Educational Institutions, the wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra Group’s IT venture, Tech Mahindra, collaborated with Ecole Centrale Paris (renamed Central Paris) in 2014 to establish MEC collocated with the Tech Mahindra Technology Centre in Hyderabad.

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Published on January 10, 2020
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