Underwater Distance Communication - New Zealand to Croatia

By 2 July 2021
Underwater Distance Communication - New Zealand to Croatia
The Biomimetics Laboratory YouTube Screenshot

July 2nd, 2021 - As part of the 'Improving Diver-Robot Interaction Capabilities' (ADRIATIC) project, funded by the Office of Naval Research Global (ONR Global), scientists conducted a transglobal experiment, Underwater Distance Communication - from New Zealand to Croatia.

Poslovni Dnevnik reports, the global pandemic delayed the project by a bit, but it did not stop the development of an autonomous underwater vehicle on which Croatian and New Zealand scientists are working. The University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and Biomimetics Lab of the Institute of Bioengineering, and the University of Auckland conducted a transglobal experiment on Underwater distance communication - from New Zealand to Croatia. 

Scientists from the two countries, more than 18,000 kilometers apart, have found a solution to conduct a research experiment despite the global pandemic. Testing the New Zealand diving glove for communication with the Croatian Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), which was supposed to occur in the Adriatic submarine, was canceled due to the epidemiological situation. Croatian and New Zealand researchers have found a workaround - a glove diver and an autonomous underwater vehicle each dived on their own side of the world and conducted testing connected to the Internet. 

The experiment was conducted in such a way that a New Zealand diver, wearing an 'Adriatic' glove, dived into a 5-meter pool in the West Wave Aquatic center in Auckland and sent an order to an underwater vehicle located in the pool of the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) in Zagreb. The ‘Adriatic’ glove detects the movement of the diver's hand and fingers with sensors process the movement and converts the obtained information into a command signal acoustically sent to the receiver in the pool. The signal is forwarded to the surface computer on the New Zealand side and then to a server located in Croatia. 

Here, the computer forwards the command to the shipper, which further sends an acoustic signal from the glove to the autonomous underwater vehicle to move in a given direction and a given manner. The glove features motion sensors from StretchSense of New Zealand - a spin-out of Biomimetics. Thus, the conducted experiment was completed. 

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