Home Bots & Brains Autonomous underwater robot harvests seabed minerals

Autonomous underwater robot harvests seabed minerals

by Pieter Werner

Impossible Metals has announces that its first autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called ‘Eureka 1’ has successfully completed its first trial of selectively harvesting rocks in an underwater environment.

“This shallow water milestone demonstrates progression of our principles of avoiding serious harm to the seabed by replacing dredging technology with an alternative that prevents biodiversity loss and large sediment plumes,” said Oliver Gunasekara, CEO & Co-Founder.

This approach for collection of polymetallic nodules, rich in critical battery metals, requires three key enabling technologies to be invented by Impossible Metals: a buoyancy engine, an underwater fast robotic arm and a computer vision AI-driven system to detect nodules and marine life on the nodules.

“The success of this first proof of concept is a major milestone for the company toward demonstrating the technical feasibility of using an autonomous, AI driven system to hover above the seabed and selectively harvest nodules,” said Jason Gillham, CTO and Co-Founder.

Plans to have the technology ready for large scale deployment by 2026 will not only be a huge step forward for sustainable critical metals, but will also change the economics of critical rare metal resources – positively impacting global supply chains.


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