The Day Job: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

If you’re reading this blog and don’t actually know me in the real world then you might be wondering “who actually is this guy?” and possibly even “what is it that he actually does, aside from starting to talk about procedural landscape generation, and then falling suddenly silent?” Well, clearly I’m a person who is currently coming to the end of a PhD, and I have a full time job. But doing what, exactly?

If in fact you do know me in the real world, you still might be wondering about that.

For the most part, what I do is work with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), either at the Ocean Systems Laboratory or SeeByte Ltd, depending on which hat I’m wearing. Let’s talk a little about that now, in general terms. Or rather, let’s watch an educational video about it.

First, a bit of preamble: this video was made around three and a half years ago (according to my reckoning) in order to present a potential example of the capabilities of AUVs and related technologies. At the time it was very much “looking forward,” rather than presenting results. In particular: most of what you’re seeing is “mocked up,” rather than part of a real operation, and features several technologies which hadn’t progressed beyond early prototypes at the time. It’s now quite out of date, but it still gets shown at conferences by some of my colleges, since it makes a fairly good introduction.

The video was also aimed primarily at the defense industry, which is why the presented scenario has that sort of slant. Rest assured that not all uses of AUVs are militaristic in nature, but yes: they can be used to help save soldiers lives.

Furthermore, I did all of the camera work and direction (except for in any stock footage), as well as the editing and titles. Writing was a joint effort between myself and several of my colleges. As such I consider the video itself to be part of my “portfolio of work.” That’s not my voice, though.

So, here’s the video (you can click for a bigger version):

If you know what you’re looking for, you can see a very early version of my PhD work in amongst all of that. Perhaps I’ll come back later and talk a little more about how what I do specifically fits into all this.

Slight digression: I’m using Vimeo rather than YouTube because it seems like a better fit. Also the website appeals more to my aesthetic sensibilities.


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