Posts Tagged ‘Soucoupe plongeante’

1971 – Hakuyo Submersible – (Japanese)

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The Japanese Hakuyo Submersible was launched in 1971 and has one manipulator arm with five degrees of freedom.

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Image source: Manned Submersibles, Frank Bushby, 1976.

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See other early Underwater Robots here.


1972 – NEREID 330 Submersible – (Dutch)

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Launched: 1972

Manipulators: Two; one is 15 ft. long and capable of 2,500 lb lift; the second is a smaller one attached to the longer arm which is used to perform delicate operations. Installed on starboard side near centre of buoyancy. Gripping force of the large claw is 6 tons.

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See other early Underwater Robots here.


1968 – Shinkai HU06 Submersible – (Japanese)

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The Maritime Safety Agency operates the underwater research vehicle (URV) HU06 Shinkai, with the support vessel Otome Maru. Built by Kawasaki Heavy industries. The Skinkai was commissioned in 1968.

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Press Photo: The Yen400 million survey submarine is expected to be completed by the Science and Technology Agency by December 1968. The [yet] unmaned vessel, now asked how to be called to the primary and junior high school children throughout Japan, will be 49.5 feet long, and 18 feet wide, displace 85 tons and submerge to a depth of 1,980 feet, utilizing 'magic hands' and TV and other cameras.
Photo shows: The model of the unnamed Yen400 million survey submarine by the Science and Technology Agency, Japan.

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1968 – Shinkai HU06 Submersible

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See other early Underwater Robots here.


1965 – PISCES Submersibles – (Canadian)

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PISCES Production
DSV         Completed     Depth (ft)     Crew
PISCES I      1965         1,200         2
PISCES II     1968         2,600         3
PISCES III    1969         3,600         3
PISCES IV     1971       6,500         3
PISCES V     1973        6,500         3
PISCES VI-XI   1975      6 500         3

Pisces I
Launched 1965
Manipulator: One arm, six degrees of freedom, of 82-in total reach and 150-lbs lift. A second clamping arm is available which has three degrees of freedom, a jaw opening of up to 21 in, and can rotate 36 0degrees at the wrist. Jaw clamp is capable of lifting or pulling 400 lb.

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Pisces II and III, launched 1968, 1969 respectively.
Manipulator: Two arms, one for grasping (three degrees of freedom), and one for working (six degrees of freedom). Both arms can be adapted to carry drills, impact wrenches, grinders, mud pumps and cable cutters which can be changed underwater.

Pisces II

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Early model of Pisces.

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Pisces II was designed by Al Trice.

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Pisces III

The Vickers mini-sub

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Pisces III was used to lay transatlantic telephone cable on the sea bottom off Ireland in 1973. When a buoyancy tank was inadvertently flooded, it sank to the bottom of the ocean with its two-man crew, Britons Roger Mallinson and Roger Chapman, stranded at a depth of 1,575 feet (480 m) and 72 hours of available life support, which they were able to extend to 76 hours by careful conservation. Initial rescue efforts by Pisces III sister submersibles were unsuccessful. Through an international effort of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, the U.S. Navy Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV-III) was deployed within 24 hours 6,000 miles from its home base. Deployment of CURV-III from CCGS John Cabot was hampered by heavy sea conditions. Rapid repairs were made when CURV-III’s gyroscope failed and electronics shorted-out after green water came aboard the Cabot. Assisted by the submersibles Pisces II and Pisces V, CURV-III was able to attach lines to the Pisces III hatch. The Cabot raised CURV-III at 60 to 100 feet (18 to 30 m) per minute until their lines entangled. The lines were cut, CURV-III was abandoned, and Pisces III was floated to 60 feet (18 m) where scuba divers were able to attach lines that were used to lift Pisces III the rest of the way to the surface. CURV-III performed the deepest underwater rescue in history when Pisces III’s two-man crew was rescued after 76 hours with just 12 minutes of air remaining.

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Pisces IV (used by Soviets)

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Pisces V

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Pisces VI

The "Pisces VI" submersible holds a bait cage to attract sha


Pisces VII

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See other early Underwater Robots here.


1969 – NR-1 Submersible – General Dynamics (American)

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1969 – NR-1 Submersible by General Dynamics.

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Early design sketch of the NR-1 sub.

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Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 10 June 1967
Launched: 25 January 1969

Source: Wikipedia
NR-1 is able to land on the seafloor on a pair of retractable wheels and can lift heavy objects with a manipulator arm system. NR-1's major strength, however, is the ability to provide a stable platform and abundant electric power for surveillance missions of two weeks or longer.

The custom-built, one-of-a-kind vessel carried no weapons, measured just 140 ft and travelled at just four knots, but held ten men for up to a month at a time.

It was a pet project of Admiral Hyman Rickover, the 'father of the nuclear Navy', and contained a custom-built mini nuclear reactor which powered it as deep as 3,000 feet.

Once on the sea bed, it had wheels and lights to explore the ocean floor.

It was mainly a research sub, but also performed Cold War military missions which remain highly classified.


See also Simon Lake's 1931 "Explorer"  as an earlier example of a submersible on wheels!

See other early Underwater Robots here.