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  /  Latest News   /  New Robotic Boat Uses Spider Legs to Sail Through Rough Seas!
Robotic boat

New Robotic Boat Uses Spider Legs to Sail Through Rough Seas!

California’s Marine Advanced Robotics has rolled out the later robotic boats with spider legs!

Sixteen years ago, California’s Marine Advanced Robotics made a Wave-Adaptive Modular Vessel (WAM-V) 100-ft boat called the Proteus and it had everyone who saw it in awe. Named after a sea god that could change shape, the robotic boat could also assume many forms to adapt to the tumultuous seas with ease. Now, the firm has made several smaller versions of the Proteus, and they are just as impressive.

The appropriately named Proteus is the first of a new class of watercraft based on a patented technology that delivers a radically different seagoing experience. Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels (WAM-V) are ultralight flexible catamarans modularly designed to allow for a variety of applications and to fit the requirements of specific users, missions, or projects. Unlike conventional boats that force the water to conform to their hulls, the WAM-V adjusts to the surface of the sea, with the superstructure flexibly connected to specially designed pontoons by several components that actually move in relation to one another. Springs, shock absorbers, and ball joints articulate the vessel and mitigate stresses to structure, payload, and crew. Two engine pods, containing the propulsion and ancillary systems, are fastened to the hulls with special hinges that keep the propellers in the water at all times. The modularity of a WAM-V allows the payload to be switched with a different one in less than an hour.

“The Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel, or WAM-V®, is an innovative class of watercraft using unique suspension technology to radically improve seagoing capabilities. The articulating system uses springs, shocks, and ball joints to minimize structural loading. The result is an ultra-light, modular vessel that can perform in sea conditions where an ordinary boat of similar size could no longer operate. The incredibly shallow draft and arches contribute to the gantry crane-like functionality,” writes the company on its website.

The robotic boat comes in three shapes and sizes: the WAM-V 8 SV, the WAM-V 16 SV, and the WAM-22 SV. Each one has its unique set of qualities, advantages, and uses. The first is designed from the ground up with extreme portability in mind and is so small it can be loaded in the back of a standard pickup truck, or checked as baggage on a domestic airline flight. The second is ideal for inshore and coastal environments and can be deployed from a trailer, reassembled on a beach and launched, or craned off the deck of a boat. Finally, the third and biggest can provide multi-day endurance in a portable and stable platform and can be launched from a trailer or another vessel for multiple applications inshore, nearshore, or in the open ocean environment. All three versions have applications in marine surveys, defense and maritime security, marine robotics research, and development coast view.

They are basically ultra-light catamarans equipped with suspension legs that move in tandem with the sea’s tumultuous waves. In this fashion, they provide stability in circumstances where most boats could not operate. They even have the capacity to spin 360 degrees in their own footprint.