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Mechanical Construction and Propulsion Analysis of a Rescue Underwater Robot in the case of Drowning Persons

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Turin, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 693;
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
PDF [33144 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


This paper presents the design of an unmanned and tele-operated robotized life-saving system aimed to work as a recovery tool in case of water-related disasters. The device is designed to save people in distress in the water, either conscious or unconscious, without exposing the rescuer’s life to risk. The data of in water accidents show that the greatest number of casualties occurs because of dangerous predicaments conducted by people who want to save other lives. All present solutions are based on aerial, surface or submarine systems needing a crew and able to save only conscious people. This paper intends to fill this gap in the literature by analyzing the main critical issues in the design of a marine autonomous rescue vehicle in terms of performance, capabilities of maneuver in rough sea conditions and the costs. The proposed robot is fully electric and tele-manipulated, from the shore in case of accidents near dry land, or directly from boats or helicopters if drowning is occurring in the open sea. The paper demonstrates the feasibility of a system and its readiness for prototyping phases while presenting a trade-off and cost analysis between six different configurations as well as illustrating in detail the design of the selected layout. The motivations behind the choice of diving strategy to tackle rough sea conditions are described along with the design and the numerical validations of the hydroplane and propulsion systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: rescue; underwater; robot; unconscious; autonomous rescue; underwater; robot; unconscious; autonomous

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Bonfitto, A.; Amati, N. Mechanical Construction and Propulsion Analysis of a Rescue Underwater Robot in the case of Drowning Persons. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 693.

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