Technologies

3D Morphing for Underwater Mobility


Abstract/Technology Overview

This technique is based on multistable shells which are developed by nanotechnology, surface mechanical attrition treatment (SMAT). The shape transitions of the bistable or multistable shells in the structure bring about volume changes to adjust buoyant forces in the water and enables the submerging and surfacing without weight changes of the structure. Functional devices can be attached to the submerging and surfacing system to achieve specific functions, such as underwater environment profile monitoring, hydro location, etc. This technique is originally designed for water environment monitoring applied in inshore coastal waters, especially for coral reefs.

In contrast to conventional approaches, such as using cable wired devices, autonomous underwater vehicles, divers, etc., this wireless system is cheap and simple, which can achieve submerging and surfacing movements automatically. The operative parameters can be setup on water surface remotely or nearby. Data collected underwater can be transited when the device is on water surface.


Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

It is believed that this technique is suitable for underwater devices to provide underwater mobility, especially vertical movement under water less than 20 meters.

  • Underwater mobility is achieved without changing structure weight.
  • Underwater devices can be manufactured in a cheap and simple way, which can be developed as consumable products.
  • Underwater mobility can be programmed to provide automatic service with the data remotely transmitted.

The technology was awarded the Excellent Product Award in the 2017 China Hi-Tech Fair and the Special Gold Award in the 2nd China University Scientific and Technological Achievement Fair (2018).


Potential Applications

Potential Applications:

  • Underwater vehicle

  • Underwater monitoring

  • Water surveillance


Customer Benefit

  • Underwater mobility achieved by 3D morphing is an efficient way to build underwater devices with controllable surfacing and submerging function. The mobility can be programmed for automatic movement and function.
  • The cost based on this technique for underwater devices is cheap. The underwater devices can be developed as a consumable.
  • As the volume adjustment involves no water discharge and water intake, the underwater devices can be built up in a robust way and cyclically used. According to estimations, the device can provide inshore coastal water profile surveillance of up to 30 days (4 cycles each day) before recharging.

OVERVIEW
Technology Owner

Maggie Mak

Company

City University of Hong Kong

Technology Category
  • Surface Finishing/Modification
  • Nano Materials
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 4
Keywords

adaptive, structure, multistable, shells, surface, nanocrystallization, underwater, vehicle, monitoring, water, surveillance