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Picking, Slurping, and Plunging

May 30, 2013

Deepwater Canyons

Collecting a sea star from a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea may sound like a difficult task, but with the ROV Jason it is accomplished with the mere twist of an arm. Jason is equipped with two powerful robotic manipulator arms that assist with underwater tasks when appendages are needed. Both arms have six joints that allow them to move over a wide area and extend up to five feet. The right arm is made of aluminum while the left arm is composed of titanium with a claw that has a grip of 1,000 pounds. They are controlled by the pilot in the ROV van with two multi-jointed joysticks that allow for almost human-like arm movement. When a sample is spotted in one of the cameras, the ROV pilot can extend the arm and, despite the power contained within the arm’s grip, gently pluck it from the substrate…

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