Established in the year 1993, NIOT or National Institute for Ocean Technology in Chennai is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. This NIOT is making news now.
A Robo Boat has been designed by the researchers from NIOT and by this boat it is possible to measure ocean parameters close to large ice chunks, narrow streams, estuaries plus in the open ocean. The important piece of information collected was there would not be any risk of life for the operators of the boat designed by NIOT. It is now brought out that studying ocean water close to icebergs using ships and boats for the scientists in the polar-regions has been an issue for all these years. Now after the design of Robo Boat the above problem would be solved. This boat of 10# 2 feet could be operated from a distant location easily.
Director of NIOT, Mr. Atmanand, shared his thoughts on this Robo Boat. He spoke about how Robo Boat designed for the purpose of research and surveillance was ready for commercialization. He explained about another technology which would be like a lifebuoy with thrusters and said it could be utilized for search and rescue operations.
It was pointed out by Mr. Atmanand that the technology was handed to private company for manufacturing and local governments like Andaman had asked for these boats. Parameters such as conductivity, temperature, fluorescence, dissolved oxygen etc could be measured by the sensors fitted to the robo boat as these boats could go closer to the ocean or sea surface.
As per Mr. Venkatesan who is the programme director, Ocean Observation Systems, NIOT, it is clear that due to the design of hull, when similar sensors were fitted to large vessel they might not go as close to the surface. He finally revealed about how the robo boat designed by NIOT was different and how the boat was customised to accommodate any type of sensors. The important point is robo boat has been designed using low density polyethylene or LDPE material and the boat could be propelled electrically at a maximum speed of 7.1 kph.