Thursday, October 12, 2006

Uwe Zimmer - Underwater Robotics

Uwe Zimmer from the Australian National University talks about swarms of autonomous submarines.

Dr. Zimmer is a researcher and robot designer at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is the founder and head of the Serafina project, which aims at developing and controlling a swarm of autonomous submarines. Autonomous swarms developed in the project will be commercialized by a company called "Project SeaSwarm" as of 2007.

His research interests include new robotics setups, adaptive world modelling and artificial neural networks and he is a pioneer in the development of underwater robotics.



  • I think the view that robotics will remain a specialised topic for universities or some niche markets over the next 20 years is overly conservative.

    Within the previous decade we've seen many technologies which are needed for robotics such as digital imaging and PC technology reducing in cost and getting easier to use and integrate.

    I think within the next 5-10 years we are likely to see the widespread introduction of robots which are either just tele-operated or which are semi-autonomous, and these will be used for all kinds of unconventional purposes.

  • Hi Bob, I think we are not in contradiction here: you called it unconventional - I called it niche market (what might not have been the most clever wording). What is meant is that robotics will turn up in the most unexpected places and - I agree - it can take off there in substantial volumes. My comment was more meant to tune down the 'Flintstones-expectations' of cartoon robots in every household, rather than to limit the expectations in the more 'unconventional' places.

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