2022 – 2025 Project


Active Suction Device for Deep-Sea Applications Professorin Dr.-Ing. Annika Raatz (PI) Dr. Kwasnitschka (PI) Leibniz Universität Hannover Geomar

The deep ocean, though still largely unexplored, gains increasing attention not only in terms of natural resources (oil, gas, food and mineral resources) but also in terms of natural hazards, environmental pollution, and as an element of the global carbon cycle in the context of climate change. For robotics, the deep sea thus presents harsh operating conditions in a promising field of application. One of the main tasks of diving robots (ROVs, Remotely Operated Vehicles) used for research is sampling of soft or hard, vagile or sessile flora and fauna on the seafloor or in the water column, as well as of water, fluid, hard rock or sediment. A tool class for sampling that is rather specific to, and widely used in scientific applications are suction samplers. Such a flexible hose acting in analogy to a vacuum cleaner is gripped at a handle by the manipulator of the ROV and guided to the place of use. Rigid hydraulic manipulators designed for industrial use are neither particularly precise and agile nor energy-efficient for this task. This project aims to turn the previously passive suction sampler into an active system and thus make it independent of rigid manipulators. For this purpose, several soft hydraulic actuators are combined to reach across a large working space. The soft robot will be actuated with seawater and controlled remotely. The project also covers all the required peripherals and equips an actual industrial ROV with a pump, sampling mechanism, actuation unit and an adapted ROV carrier system. The project's goal is thus a soft robotic based, application-ready system for sampling in the deep sea. To achieve this, the experience in soft material robotics present at match is combined with practical knowledge of operational, developmental and environmental expertise of marine technology, contributed by GEOMAR.

Professorin Dr.-Ing.
Annika Raatz (PI)
email  web


Dr. Kwasnitschka (PI)
email  web



Jan Peters

Cora Maria Sourkounis 

Oliver Jahns

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