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Eelume AUV: Straight like a torpedo or flexible like a snake

Creator: Eelume

Country: Norway

Year: 2015


Modular, flexible, extendable, and agile—this underwater drone (Eelume M-series) is redefining subsea robotics with its unique design

Status: Commercially available

Operation: Autonomous

Robot Type / Domain: Industrial, Emergency & Disaster Response, Other Infrastructure

Tasks: Underwater Repair & Maintenance, Oceanic Mapping, Infrastructure Inspection

Whimsical Intro (by addoobot)

Ever wished you had a robot that could slither through tight spots like a snake and switch tools like a Swiss Army knife? Meet Eelume – the adaptable, shape-shifting champion of the deep!

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Flexibility Meets Function: Introducing the Eelume M-series

This eel-like Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is one of the world's most flexible underwater drones. This flexibility combined with its small body diameter of 20 cm means that it can, just like an eel, maneuver through narrow openings and access confined spaces. Such features are currently unprecedented given that most underwater robots don't have such agility due to their size or box-like design. 

Another nice feature of this AUV is its modular and extendable design. Simply add or remove modules to customize the AUV with just the right amount of tools for carrying out the intended task, or use the modules to vary the length of the AUV from 250 to 600 cm. 

The Eelume AUV can dive up to depths of 500 meters, is self-propelled, lightweight, and can be deployed to perform various tasks from inspection and surveying to maintenance and repair. 

Exceptional by Design: What Makes the Eelume AUV Special

The flexible and modular design of the Eelume AUV enables it to be applicable to a wider range of underwater applications. It can also be equipped with various modules and end-effectors such as grippers, sonars, and tools for cleaning and maintenance. The flexibility of the AUV also means it can position and orient its sensors and tools appropriately with respect to the object it is aiming to scan, inspect, or operate on. 

But the true brilliance of the Eelume AUV is that it can be flexible and agile when needed or straight and streamlined like a torpedo. Thus, it can become a fast-moving robot if a long-range operation or faster speed is needed for tasks such as lengthy underwater surveying. 

Additional Features and Benefits of Eelume Underwater Drone

One of the innovative features of the Eelume M-series AUV is its capability to operate as a resident system. That is, it can be docked at a seabed station and be rapidly deployed when needed. This capability can not only speed up response times but also eliminate the need for human workers to travel to the field and deploy the robot through a vessel, which can be dangerous, especially in bad weather conditions.

In addition to the safety advantages of the resident system, not deploying the Eelume AUV from a vessel means less energy consumption, hence making it a greener and more sustainable robot. This aspect also makes the AUV more cost-effective. However, the AUV can still be deployed through a vessel if needed, e.g., for shorter or one-off missions. 

From Maintenance to Mapping: Applications and Use Cases of Eelume AUV

The Eelume M-series is not just a tool for inspection and data collection; it is a platform capable of performing light intervention and maintenance tasks. But what makes it particularly ideal for underwater infrastructure tasks is its ability to access confined spaces or maneuver around tight and challenging structures. This versatility of the AUV is especially beneficial in industries such as offshore energy, where it can help maintain and inspect pipelines and other critical infrastructure with minimal disruption to operations.

Another interesting capability of the Eelume AUV is that it can withstand strong ocean currents and adapt to various underwater environments. This capability can be helpful for tasks such as mapping and detailed underwater surveys.

Brief History

Who would have thought that research into snakes could create an innovative solution for underwater inspection and maintenance of critical infrastructure? Eelume did, and since 2015, they have been turning this idea into a successful reality. The company, a spin-off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), didn't start from scratch; the team brought with them decades of knowledge and research in snake robotics.

Technical Specifications

Size: 6000L (mm)

Size: 236.220L (in)

Max. Payload: N/A

Max. Depth: 1640.420 ft

Max. Depth: 500 m

Max. Speed: 1.03 m/s

Max. Speed: 3.379 ft/s

Battery Operated? Yes

Average Runtime: N/A

Max. Runtime: N/A

Battery Recharge Time: N/A

Min. Weight in Air: 70 kg

Min. Weight in Air: 154.324 lbs

Manipulation: arm

IP Rating: N/A

Operating Temperature: N/A

Open-source? N/A

Price: N/A

Endurance: No limit for the ROV • 1–8 hrs for the AUV

Body Diameter: 20 cm

Length & Weight in Air: 250–600 cm | 70–180 kg

Sensors: Configurable payloads - sonars, camera, and other sensors

Data Transmission / Communication: Subsea: tether for the ROV or Acoustic comm link for the AUV • On the surface: Iridium satellite comm, WiFi

No more specs to show.

Please visit the official website for more accurate, up-to-date, and complete information on this post. Visit website   External Link Icon Specifications   External Link Icon

Comment by addoobot - Our Perspective

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Eelume AUV is the benefits obtained from its snake-like design in terms of flexibility and agility. But the company didn't stop there; they also made it modular, extendable, and, when needed, streamlined like a torpedo. What more could we ask for! What do you make of it? Let's discuss below.

addoorable score:
The AUV is not only professional and innovative; we believe it also looks 'addoorable.' However, your opinion might depend on how much you like snakes. Let us know below!

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