Low-cost Electronics for Pressure-Agnostic Actuators Driving Bio-Inspired Vehicles for Deep Sea Mining

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Program:
Exploratory Topics
Award:
$500,000
Location:
Boulder,
Colorado
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
08/10/2022 - 08/09/2024

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Artimus Robotics aims to enable environmentally conscious deep-sea mining of rare earth elements and precious metals using next-generation bio-inspired unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The team will focus on developing inexpensive electronics for its hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) actuators, which enable ‘soft’ autonomous vehicles that can facilitate environmentally conscious mineral collection methods to access the deep ocean. More than 50% of the total UUV cost is attributed to the motors and associated drive systems. Replacing such a system with a HASEL-based system would reduce the cost by 50x, enabling greater access to the billions of tons of critical minerals in polymetallic nodules on the ocean floor. UUVs based on the new technologies have applications in other initiatives including carbon dioxide monitoring and mitigation and ocean agriculture for biomass production.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Simon Freeman
Project Contact:
Dr. Shane Mitchell
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
shane@artimusrobotics.com

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