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Swarms of Ocean Robots

Rendering of Ocean Robots
Artist rendition of a robot swarm controlled by algorithms developed by Jacobs School engineers. Image credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.

Drifting in formation, swarms of small ocean robots may one day help scientists predict where ocean currents will carry spilled oil, or provide insights on where marine reserves should be established. Control systems developed by mechanical and aerospace engineers at the Jacobs School will allow the robots to follow ocean currents but remain in a loose swarm - a scenario expected to lead to fine-grained, difficult-to-collect details of ocean currents.

"We have developed the algorithms in the lab, and now we face the task of implementing them in the ocean," said mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Jorge Cortes, a member of the Jacobs School's Cymer Center for Control Systems and Dynamics, and a principal investigator on this NSF-funded collaboration with the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Website: Jorge Cortes »

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