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China to use intelligent robot for 1st time in Arctic expedition
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15:45, July 16, 2008

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Chinese scientists will use an intelligent robot for the first time in the country's scientific expedition to the North Pole, Zhang Haisheng, chief scientist of the expedition said Wednesday.

The robot, named North Pole ARV, is the first Autonomous and Remote operated Vehicle (ARV) developed independently by Chinese scientists.

It will be used to monitor the Arctic Ocean and carry scientific equipment during China's third scientific expedition to the region, which began last week.

"It will be the first time that China will use an intelligent robot made by Chinese scientists on its Arctic expedition," said Zhang Haisheng.

North Pole ARV, a product of China's national "863 plan" in the marine technique field, was mainly developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA), along with the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As the first underwater vehicle of its kind with an autonomous-and-remote hybrid working mode under an ice monitoring system, the robot can be remote-operated as well as be autonomously navigated according to a pre-programmed mission, saidLi Shuo, associate professor of SIA and leader of the project.

According to Li, the North Pole ARV with built-in power can communicate with the surface system through micro-optical fiber. It can work as a ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) to precisely survey in a suspended position and as an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) to measure a certain range to obtain full data in real time.

The North Pole ARV weighs 350 kg, with a working depth of 100 meters and a working radius of 3 kilometers.

"As a motion measurement platform with acoustic and optical equipment under the ice, North Pole ARV will be deployed under the ice to obtain valuable information, such as the formation of the bottom of the ice, the thickness of the ice, and salinity and temperature at different depths in the ocean," Li said.

He added that the North Pole ARV was designed to investigate under the ice in the Arctic Ocean in a three-dimensional field in order to provide a modern technical means for marine scientific exploration, as it is difficult to observe under the ice, especially with regard to multiple synchronous measurements.

China launched its third scientific expedition to the North Pole on July 11.

The team, comprised of 122 scientists and logistics staff, willstudy the polar region's distinctive maritime resources and air quality, and also conduct comprehensive research on geological andmeteorological conditions during the 75-day expedition.


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