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The sea robot-assisted inspection (Sea-RAI) marsupial robot team is the first known manportable unmanned surface vehicle (USV) that hosts an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Sea-RAI is designed for inspecting littoral environments for military, environmental, and disaster-response applications. The project also provides a platform for exploring the four roles in a marsupial team: courier, messenger, manager, and coach. The cooperation between the vehicles extends their capabilities beyond the capabilities of a single vehicle. This article describes the robot team, details the design and construction of low-cost USVs, and describes the demonstration of the integrated system and the four key capabilities, such as seaworthiness, data display, marsupialism, and mission logging.
Date of Publication: June 2011