CUREE: A Curious Underwater Robot for Ecosystem Exploration

CUREE: A Curious Underwater Robot for Ecosystem Exploration

Robots with alternative locomotion design can assist us in observing previously inaccessible environments.

MARE: Marine Autonomous Robotic Explorer[1]

MARE is a low-cost autonomous airboat designed for exploring turbulent open water environments. It's unique air-propelled design and hydro-dynamically stable catamaran hull structure makes MARE suitable for long-term deployment in all types of water bodies. Since it has no moving parts in contact with water, MARE can explore marine ecosystems while causing minimal underwater disturbance.

Heterogeneous Robot Teams[1:1] [1:2]

In this work we experimented with a system for monitoring marine environments by a team of heterogeneous robots, comprising of a fixed-wing aerial vehicle, an autonomous airboat, and a legged underwater robot. The goal was to receive a region of interest from a remote human supervisor, and then using the coordinated effort of the robot team, produce a concise summary consisting of a small number of images, which capture the visual diversity of the region of interest. The summary could then be used by a human supervisor to plan for further exploration.

Aqua Amphibious Robot

Aqua[1:3] is an amphibious six legged robot capable of autonomous operation. Aqua's propulsion is based on six flippers that can provide motion in five degrees of freedom, which is more suitable for tasks requiring high maneuverability, such as coral reef exploration. By using a novel combination of gaits[1:4], Aqua can move at various speeds while maintaining its orientation, despite external disturbances. Figure below shows various flipper poses for different desired swimming speeds.

Pictures showing the flippers' angle due to the action of the autopilot system, during one of the sea trials. (a) the robot is performing a heave-up maneuver to maintain depth and attitude at zero forward speed. (b) the robot is executing a combined heave up, pitch up and slow forward speed maneuver. (c) the robot is performing a pitch-up maneuver at high


  1. P. Giguere, Y. Girdhar, and G. Dudek, “Wide-Speed Autopilot System for a Swimming Hexapod Robot,” in 2013 International Conference on Computer and Robot Vision, 2013, pp. 9–15. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎