A Little Kirkyan Reminder

I’ve been so busy the past couple months that a number of things have completely fallen to the wayside. One of those is the oil containment kirkyan concept I’ve wanted to put some time into (you can read what that’s about as it’s an example used in this explanation for the kirkyan concept – reLink). The recent stories about the environmental disaster off the coast of Lebanon really had me thinking about it this past week. Perhaps in another few months I’ll find that time, but for now I thought this story on the MIT website (Link) about researchers using kayaks for marine robotic tests was interesting. From the article:

Working in labs that resemble machine shops, these engineers are taking small steps toward the holy grail of robotics — cooperative autonomy — making machines work together seamlessly to complete tasks with a minimum of human direction.

Operating on the surface means that SCOUTs can take advantage of such technology as wireless Internet and global positioning systems (GPS), which don’t work underwater. Researchers are thus free to focus on fine-tuning other necessary robot functions, such as navigation — all with the goal of creating a team that works so seamlessly that a lot of communication isn’t necessary.

Software developed on SCOUT may someday help AUVs search the sea bottom for plane wreckage or allow kayaks to find shipwreck survivors.

“We keep thinking of new applications,” Leonard said.

Seems like oil spill containment is a natural application to me.

via Boing Boing