NOC MARINE ROBOTICS INNOVATION CENTRE
MONDAY 23rd NOV 2015 - Science and Universities minister Jo Johnson MP opened the sparkling new robotics innovation centre today with much applause from the gathered crowd.
(Edmund) Johnson is a Conservative Party politician born 23-12-71. He has been the member of parliament (MP) for Orpington since the general election in May 2010. From April 2013 to May 2015, he was the Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, and became Minister of State for the Cabinet Office in July 2014. Following the May 2015 general election, he became the Minister for Universities and Science.
ABOUT THE EVENT
There was a full line up of speakers with several much needed breaks for comestibles and networking ...... more to come ......
UUVs - These small underwater survey submarines are the bread and butter of the oceanography departments. They are loaded with as many instruments as they can carry but have limited range. The more instruments you run the lower the range.
C-ENDURO - This is ASVs coastal survey and support vessel. It is used to extend the range of UUVs to save their battery life. This catamaran is roughly 12 x 7 feet and uses a small diesel engine, apart from the solar cells and windgen. Managing director, Dan Hook (sporting a very nautical beard for 2015) gave an uplifting talk on his company expansion over 10 years, telling the audience a little of some of the projects that they are involved in. ASV provide platforms for other groups.
AUTONAUT - Gwyn Griffiths and Dr Russell Wynn with the AutoNaut at another event at the NOC. We love the simplicity and ruggedness of this design, that is reminiscent of the Scout Transatlantic boat that attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean autonomously on solar power. The big difference is that the AutoNaut from MOST uses wave power for propulsion and solar energy to operate the sensors and communications onboard. If the Scout team had used the navigation from the Autonaut, they just might have set the first long distance ocean crossing without a man on board.
SLOCUM GLIDER - MP Jo Johnson is show one of the survey torpedoes that do much of the data gathering of the oceans at present.
OFFICIAL OPENING 23 NOVEMBER 2015
Universities & Science Minister Jo Johnson yesterday officially opened a £3m centre to develop new technology for the emerging marine robotics sector.
Based at NERC's National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, the new Marine Robotics Innovation Centre
(MRIC) will be a hub for businesses developing autonomous platforms, with novel sensors that will be used to cost-effectively capture data from the world's oceans.
WATERCOLOUR - Jo Johnson is presented with a painting of the NOC building at Southampton, with Kevin Forshaw and other NOC personnel in the background.
ABOUT THE MRIC
The Marine Robotics Innovation Centre has been operational since the summer of 2015. Planet Ocean Ltd, ASV and SeeByte Ltd have already moved into the centre, which provides office and testing facilities along with access to specialist instrumentation
SEAVAX SHOWCASE - This is a photo of the display on November 10th 2015 at the Innovate 2015 event. The vehicle and project were not featured at the Robotic Centre opening, though several of those in attendance are potential partners to the project. A road show may be on the cards for 2016, if sponsors are found that are interested in cleaning up our oceans and rivers - maybe as part of their corporate responsibility drive. This vessel may also clean up oil spills, apart from the toxic plastic that is presently choking blue growth. As a company without a trading track record, Bluebird Marine Systems do not qualify for funding under any of the schemes presently run by the Dti and European Commission (Horizon 2020).
The SeaVax is a social project with no end users, because there are no customers for a ship that cleans the oceans - where nobody is prosecuted under MARPOL law and just about every country in the world dumps their waste at sea. In other words there is no accountability in international waters, despite the UN and IMO waxing loud from their soap boxes as to clean up. How about some government incentives for corporations that support projects that are outside the scope of the existing funding framework!
NOC OPENING PLAQUE - Jo Johnson gave a talk to the crowd and then this commemorative plaque was ceremoniously unveiled from a blue drape.
The new centre offers an already significant establishment, far greater scope, though the workshop is still limited in size - if it were to be used for the build of a small ship the size of SeaVax, for example.
There is a strong Royal Navy contingent when it comes to robotics, including events such as "Unmanned Warrior" that are designed to elicit ideas from SMEs along with those already in the warmongering business, such as ASV, Thales and BAE Systems. Much as we applaud the introduction of robotics to marine issues such as cargo shipping, Bluebird Marine is opposed to all but passive defence to ward off terrorism, smuggling and piracy, and so will not seek MOD contracts in any guise, preferring to concentrate on the more important issues of food supply for the world as a whole.
The SeaVax is laying the foundations for zero carbon cruise liners and cargo ships of the future, using a combination of solar and wind power in a unique configuration, that we cannot share the details of here because of possible patent improvement applications.
AUTOSUB 3 - This is one of the early NOC designs for an underwater survey vessel. The construction is very simple, an aluminium space frame for a chassis and composite fairings that screw together around the workings of the craft. These vessels are basically small low speed submarines that do not need a crew to carry out ocean monitoring. Like many torpedoes they use electric motors and batteries.
PCBs - Where would unmanned vehicles be without printed circuit boards and microchips. Click on the picture above for free software to design your boards.
ROVs - Tethered remotely controlled mini subs are very useful for carrying out inspection work and minor maintenance jobs.
ARSENAL - Looking more like an armoury room for a submarine, this is where some of the NOC's range of survey vessels are kept in store.
DAILY ECHO 24 NOV 2015
Southampton is leading the way in undersea robot technology – a lucrative sector of the “blue economy”.
EXHIBITION STAND No 115 - Side view of the world's largest ocean going vacuum cleaner. The SeaVax team were not allowed to switch on their revolving display stand while visitors were in the halls. Despite this the stand was visited by hundreds of delegates in the two days of the Innovate 2015 event in London. Where this is a workboat with a huge mouth to scoop up debris, more efficient hulls that use the same energy harvesting platform can achieve up to 10 knots continuous cruising speeds, a huge improvement on PlanetSolar that managed almost 5 knots across the Atlantic in ideal conditions.
LINKS & REFERENCES
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