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Disasters & Extreme WeatherOil Spills

Underwater Robots will Stop the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Robots are the solution to stopping the oil spill. Here are some ways that robotics engineering teams are helping, and examples of how underwater robots work:

*the entire area around the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead, a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico is constantly being monitored and worked on with robotic activity.

*high-tech remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) or robotic submarines that are specially designed for intervention with hydraulic arms called manipulators and other interchangable tooling devices.

*ROVS are designed by engineering teams to use saws, cutters, and other specialized equipment can be swapped to make them better suited to any given task.

*sophisticated robots carry video cameras and lights, use fiber optics to transfer data back and forth along the tether to their mothership, and have a huge amount of power to apply to any given task at (robotic) hand.

*ROVs are essentially critical to each and every single operation performed as part of BP’s undersea spill response efforts.

*ROVs recently successfully inserted the riser insertion tube tool, which, after several failed attempts, is now capturing thousands and thousands of barrels of oil per day that would otherwise have been leaked into the sea.

*underwater robotics will become more important in the future now as underwater well monitoring security tightens.

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2 comments
  1. Grizzly Bear

    Thank you for these informative pictures! So far, the cap is holding – day 2. Unfortunately, we have months and months of clean-up ahead of us. As one who lives on the Gulf Coast, I cannot wait until life gets back to normal and us 'little people' don't have to worry about this tragedy any more! Conserve, conserve, conserve and these tragedies will be minimized as our demand for oil is lessened!

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