Autonomous vehicle sustainably mines seabed for battery minerals

Autonomous vehicle sustainably mines seabed for EV battery minerals

Impossible Metals says its autonomous underwater vehicle has selectively harvested rocks in an underwater environment.

Impossible Metals, a company that builds autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) which harvest critical battery metals, says its first AUV, called “Eureka 1,” has successfully completed its first trial of selectively harvesting rocks in an underwater environment.

“This shallow water milestone demonstrates the progression of our principles of avoiding serious harm to the seabed by replacing dredging technology with an alternative that prevents biodiversity loss and large sediment plumes,” said Oliver Gunasekara, CEO and co-founder of the company.

The company says this approach for the collection of polymetallic nodules, rich in critical battery metals, requires three key enabling technologies to be invented by Impossible Metals: a buoyancy engine, an underwater fast robotic arm and a computer vision, AI-driven system to detect nodules and marine life on the nodules.

The company plans to have the technology ready for large-scale deployment by 2026.

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