Pliant Energy Systems has developed a C-Ray robot that can be used to mine seabed without destroying fragile underwater ecosystems.
The device, which resembles a black mechanical ramp, has flexible, wavy fins that propel it forward through the movements made in the form of a traveling wave. The robot is equipped with tools and computer algorithms that provide autonomous control.
So far, the engineering team is testing the first prototype, called the Velox, which is only capable of operating in shallow ocean waters. Once testing is complete, the company will begin building a larger C-Ray with built-in grippers to lift polymetallic nodules (formations from precious ore) the size of potatoes.
Deep sea mining robot invented
Ultimately, Pliant Energy Systems plans to deploy a swarm of hundreds of autonomous robots that will communicate through a collective intelligence system. At the same time, they will be able not only to take valuable minerals, but also replace them with less valuable stones, so that living organisms can again use them for habitation..
Earlier, we also reported on the development of a robot laboratory assistant that independently conducts experiments and makes discoveries.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Pliant Energy Systems