Hamburg based team of engineers have developed with 3D printer “HippoCampus” unmanned underwater vehicle that feels plastic and other pollutants in the deep sea. Built largely using a 3D printer can be replicated easily, is cheap and can be re-designed within an hour. .
The world’s oceans are the least studied due to the high costs and risks for the people. What so thousands of kilometers under the surface of water takes place, in the dark. A great hope in the future lie on the underwater robots. Today because of easy to use and cost-efficient 3D printers we can move further. Tried with new developments, light in the dark bring.
Equipped with sensors
The Institute for mechanics and marine technology at the Hamburg Technical University create project: HippoCampus. Main goals are to track pollutants in the depths of the seas. Is the project of Profesor Edwin Kreuzer and funded by the German Research Foundation. The engineers have made an unmanned vehicle (AUV) that is very agile and equipped with sensors. It will analyze flow fields in the depth and assess sources of pollution. The “HippoCampus” with four engines. Sonda is powered and controlled remotely and with “auto-pilot”
Favorable 3D Printing prices are a best choice for prototyping engineers worldwide.
To reduce the cost, the engineers make the most parts of this arrow-like vehicle with the Institute’s own 3D Desktop Printer. The advantages: This is not only fast, but also “at an unbeatable price of the piece”, as stated press release of the Institute. This Scout could go in the swarm to find about pollutants after a chemical spill. The engineers continue to work on the optimization of the AUV, 3D printing makes possible quick and adjustable development.
Underwater vehicles are widely used
The demand for underwater vehicles rises. Scientists about looking for rugged devices that they can scan the ocean floor over a large area. There the bulk of plastic waste to be that threatened more and more marine life.
Also for oil companies and commodity groups autonomously operating underwater vehicles express interests to search for oil or minerals. By the way, the deepest so far discovered place in a sea is unimaginable 11.034 m deep. It is located in the Mariana Trench so is an oceanic trench in the Western Pacific. The three oceans of the Earth are about 3700 meters deep on average. The highest mountain of in Austria, the is about the same. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a submarine depth acts autonomously in up to 6000 m.
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