Stanford's Robotic Mermaid OceanOne Explores 17th Century Shipwreck

Posted on April 29, 2016

Stanford researchers have been developing a humanoid robot named OceanOne. The orange and black robot is being referred to as a robotic mermaid by many outlets. It recently went on its maiden voyage to explore the La Lune, the flagship of King Louis XIV's fleet that wrecked in the Mediterranean in 1664 off the southern coast of France.

OceanOne's missions was a success. One of the objects the robot recovered was an ancient vase. OceanOne can be controlled remotely by archaeologists. On this mission Oussama Khatib - a professor of computer science at Stanford - was at the helm.

Khatib says in a Stanford report, "OceanOne will be your avatar. The intent here is to have a human diving virtually, to put the human out of harm's way. Having a machine that has human characteristics that can project the human diver's embodiment at depth is going to be amazing."

OceanOne is five feet long. It has stereoscopic vision so the pilot can see exactly what OceanOne is seeing. The tail of the robot contains the batteries, computers and eight thrusters. The researchers plan to give OceanOne's hands tactile sensors so it gets even better at handle objects.

Take a look:

More from Science Space & Robots