See RoboLobster & Eye Imager in Action Aboard the Afloat Lab During D.C. Visit

WHAT: Meet the researchers behind RoboLobster & Eye Imager Aboard the U.S. Navy's Afloat Lab
WHEN: Monday, April 15 to Friday, April 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (call to RSVP)
WHERE: Washington Navy Yard next to the USS Barry. Enter at Main Gate, 9th & M Streets

See working demonstrations of advanced naval technologies on the Office of Naval Research’s Afloat Lab during its week-long visit to the Washington Navy Yard.

Take a short cruise aboard the Afloat Lab at 11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday (April 15-16) where you will see Joseph Ayers of Northeastern University put RoboLobster through its paces. The Office of Naval Research is supporting the development of RoboLobster for possible future uses such as remote sensing as it creeps around in shallow waters in the manner of a real lobster.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (April 17-19) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., reporters can hop aboard the boat without going on a cruise to see the Nomad Personal Display System. Rob Sainsbury from Microvision Inc. of Bothell, Wash., will be demonstrating Nomad, a new type of information display that transmits data directly onto the eye, eliminating the need for display screens and the problem of screen glare. This type of information display could greatly aid helicopter pilots and support crew on the decks of aircraft carriers in addition to numerous other commercial applications.

While visiting the Afloat Lab, you will also see a working demonstration of an innovative self-healing communications network that can route around breaks while remaining on-line and allows multiple critical shipboard systems to keep functioning with damaged communication links. The vessel's primary mission as a test platform provides a realistic shipboard environment for this Survivable Automation Technology. The Afloat Lab takes its nickname, the "Starfish," for this technology because it functions like a real starfish which relies on radial nerves running the length of each ray and connecting to other radial nerves via a nerve ringing the body.

To visit the Afloat Lab, members of the media must register in advance by calling 703-696-2869 or 703-696-5031 to arrange for escorts from the main gate of the Navy Yard. The Afloat Lab is closed to the general public during this D.C. visit at the Washington Navy Yard.

The Afloat Lab is a former Naval Academy Yard Patrol craft used for training at the academy. Typical Yard Patrol crafts have the same machinery, electronics and navigation systems as the Navy’s large fleet ships which makes it an ideal platform for testing new technologies intended for shipboard use.

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