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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Worlds Largest Undersea Robot

The UT-1 Ultra Trencher is the world’s biggest undersea robot. The UT-1 Ultra Trencher weighs 60 tons, has a length of 7.8 meters, a width of 7.8 meters and a height of 5.6 meters. In fact, it has the dimensions of a small house. It can move at a speed of 2 to 3 knots under the sea. And it can trench pipelines with a 1-meter diameter in deep waters of up to 1 mile deep.

This huge subsea robot has been built by Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), a Newcastle upon Tyne company which develops specialized remote controlled submersible robots (ROVs).

Weighing 50 tonnes and the size of small house, it is designed to bury large diameter oil and gas pipelines laid on the ocean floor. It does this by ‘flying’ down up to a mile deep below the surface using powerful propellers. It then lands over the pipeline and deploys a pair of ‘jet swords’ either side of the pipe which inject high pressure water to ‘fluidise’ the surface. Burying the pipelines protects them from fishing, shipwrecks and natural currents. This enables oil and gas to be safely transported from the offshore fields to land to provide secure energy supplies.”

Now I would say thats quite a large robot.