Research from West Virginia University mechanical and aerospace engineer Xi Yu could help scientists reach ocean waters hidden away beneath ice shelves.
Research from West Virginia University mechanical and aerospace engineer Xi Yu could help scientists reach ocean waters hidden away beneath ice shelves. The inaccessible waters under ocean ice contain information critical to understanding the impact of climate change, and Yu said she believes multiple marine robots, carried and coordinated by an intelligent mothership, can reach those depths and communicate what they learn.
An assistant professor at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and a member of WVU Robotics, Yu has received National Science Foundation support for a three-year project developing technologies to control swarms of “passenger robots,” intended for release by their autonomous mothership into an icy subaquatic world.
She is part of a coast-to-coast network of oceanographers and engineers who have come together to collaborate on the increasingly urgent problem of how to access oceanic ice cavities. The community of partners working together toward the proof-of-concept mothership-and-passenger system originated at Oregon State University and has expanded outward to include computer engineers, roboticists, oceanographers and glaciologists from Brigham Young, Temple, Purdue and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in addition to WVU.
Read more at: West Virginia University
Retreating ice has exposed the rocky shoreline of Cape Rasmussen on the Antarctic Peninsula. Xi Yu, a West Virginia University engineer, is leading robotics research that could help a nationwide consortium of researchers learn more about glacial melt and changing levels of ocean ice. (Photo Credit: Derek Ford/University of Hawaii, Manoa)