The combined area of Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone are the sixth largest in the world, and researchers are proactively exploring the marine environment and seabed resources in these vast waters. This kind of oceanographic research cannot happen without marine robots.
Underwater marine robots are operated from ships, so their lifeline is communication. The success or failure of oceanographic research depends on the extent to which communications with marine robots can be stabilized as well as their mobility in the ocean, where the environment is highly variable.
To dramatically increase the range of activity of marine robots, Taichi Fujita, Takumi Yoshimura, and Kouichi Hashimoto, three second-year master's students in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering who belong to Professor Hiroshi Kubo's Wireless Signal Processing Laboratory, have taken up the challenge of developing the latest acoustic communication technology.
In this edition, we take a look at the story of their successful development of a robust acoustic communication technology that can handle speeds of up to three knots (about 5.5 km/h), which is said to be the maximum speed for marine robots, in an underwater environment that makes wireless communication tough.