LOBSTER Explorer

Deep sea on a budget

Making the deep sea accessible

The main reason that the deep sea is so unexplored is that the equipment needed to explore it is very expensive. To make the deep sea more accessible, the LOBSTER Explorer needs to be affordable. We did this by identifying the problems that causes ROV’s (Remotely Operated Vehicle) to be so expensive and designing solutions for them.

Pressure

The first problem is that the electronics are not resistant to pressure. This is currently solved by housing the electronics in thick metal hulls which keeps the pressure inside the … Continue ReadingPressure

Tether

The second problem is the need to manually control the robot. ROVs are often used in multimillion dollar projects where it is preferred to have a human in the chain … Continue ReadingTether

Facilities

The third problem is the requirement of facilities. A lot of facilities are needed to deploy, retrieve or transport an ROV because they weigh about the same as a car. This … Continue ReadingFacilities

The Project

The deep sea is one of the most fascinating environments on Earth. However, most of the deep sea remains uncharted territory due to its extreme conditions. To explore the deep sea, a large and expensive robot is needed which has to be deployed and operated from an even more expensive ship. The plus point is that these robots can do everything. They have arms that can be used to manipulate objects, take samples, catch fish or even repair structures. However, sometimes you just want to take a look.

This is where LOBSTER comes in. We aim to make deep sea inspection, prospecting, and research accessible by developing a small, fast, low cost and autonomous deep-sea robot that can reach the seabed quickly, take pictures, make measurements and return to the surface. We are using our first advanced prototype for testing. Our goal is to have a robot that is able to reach a depth of 2 kilometres by the end of October 2019.

Pressure Tolerant Electronics test II

We tested the electronic prototypes and several construction methods at our partner Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven. We were able to use their pressure chamber and tested at a pressure of 350 bars which equals 3.5 km! Everything worked as expected. This is a big milestone in our project.

  • This is a picture taken by our camera at a pressure of 350 bars.