ERF 2015 Workshop
Time and place of workshop
08:30 am to 10:00 am
The 11th of March 2015, European Robotics Forum 2015, Vienna, Austria.
This workshop is dedicated to marine robotics. It follows the successful previous editions (ERF 2013, ERF 2014), with new speakers and new addressed topics. This year, presentations will concern underwater communications, bio-inspired marine robotics, human-machine interaction, cooperation, control and innovative design. We have selected world-renowned speakers from seven European countries (Estonia, Croatia, Portugal, United Kingdom, Italy, and France) by considering the novelty and high quality of their works. Tecnalia, a new industrial player in marine robotics, will also present its activities in marine robotics, strongly linked with most recent research results.
Another objective of this workshop is to provide the latest news from the euRobotics AISBL Marine Robotics Topic Group, followed by a round-table hosted by Massimo Caccia.
Joao Alves, Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), La Spezia, Italy
Valerie Auffray, Director of Tecnalia France.
Maarja Kruusmaa, Center for Biorobotics, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.
David Lane, Director of Ocean Systems Laboratory, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.
Alfredo Martins, Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto, INESC Proto, Portugal.
Nikola Mišković, Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST), University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Agenda of the workshop
Session 1: Technological & Scientific Challenges in Marine Robotics
- Introduction by Eleni Patouni
- Presentation by Joao Alves, "Underwater communications: technical challenges & tools for Marine Robotics"
- Presentation by Maarja Kruusmaa, "Bio-inspired flow sensing for underwater robots"
- Presentation by Nikola Mišković, "CADDY - Cognitive Autonomous Diving Buddy"
Session 2: Case studies
- Introduction by Ahmed Chemori
- Presentation by Valerie Auffray, "Small and low-cost system for underwater inspections"
- Presentation by Alfredo Martins, "Awareness at sea: From the surface to the deep ocean - the INESC TEC experience"
- Presentation by David Lane, " Recent Developments in Persistent and Long Term Autonomy in Marine Robotics"
Round table: Marine Robotics Topic Group, hosted by Massimo Caccia
Prof Stathes Hadjiefthymiades will participate to the round table discussion.
Abstracts of the presentations
Underwater communications: technical challenges & tools for Marine Robotics (10 min + quest)
By Joao Alves, Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), La Spezia, Italy
Research in underwater communication has focused lately on the challenge of data collection from the sea, using assets with increased autonomy. In addition, as AUV technology has matured, the interest in using teams of AUVs has emerged as a powerful paradigm. Thus, it is apparent that underwater communications drive the evolution of marine technology community. It should be noted though that underwater communications form a harsh and unforgiving wireless communication medium. The speed of sound in the water (around 1500 m/s) is very slow when compared to propagation of electromagnetic waves in air and can lead to significant Doppler and delay spreads. The usable bandwidth is limited by the environmental noise and absorption, allowing for a usable frequency range between some hundred hertz and some tens of kilohertz. Time-varying multipath, introduced by reflection, refraction and scattering is also a key factor that limits the performance of underwater acoustic communication systems. This talk will give an overview of the limitations of underwater communications, and present the current state-of-the-art in terms of techniques to tackle the challenges at the different layers of the communication system. The current initiatives ongoing at CMRE will be presented and will motivate the introduction of future research directions.
Bio-inspired flow sensing for underwater robots (10 min + quest)
by Maarja Kruusmaa, Centre of Biorobotics, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.
All 30 000 fish species have a special organ for sensing flow - lateral line sensing. At the same time no underwater robot so far is equipped with such a sensing modality. This talk is about what we could gain from equipping our robots with a sense that has been inspired by Nature's solution for surviving in an underwater environment. It is also about how this bio-inspired technology would help us better understand fish and to protect their environment. I will demonstrate and explain how we have developed and tested artificial lateral lines in Centre for Biorobotics in Tallinn University of Technology, how we have learned to perceive and interpret the information if flow and how we have built robots that can sense flow and control themselves with respect to flow. Also, I will talk about how we use those sensors to better understand river hydraulics and hydrodynamics of fishways.
CADDY - Cognitive Autonomous Diving Buddy (10 min + quest)
by Nikola Mišković, Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST), University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Divers operate in harsh and poorly monitored environments in which the slightest unexpected disturbance, technical malfunction, or lack of attention can have catastrophic consequences. They manoeuvre in complex 3D environments, carry cumbersome equipment, while performing their mission. To overcome these problems, CADDY aims to establish an innovative set-up between a diver and companion autonomous robots (underwater and surface) that exhibit cognitive behaviour through learning, interpreting, and adapting to the diver’s behaviour, physical state, and actions.
The CADDY project replaces a human buddy diver with an autonomous underwater vehicle and adds a new autonomous surface vehicle to improve monitoring, assistance, and safety of the diver’s mission. The resulting system plays a threefold role similar to those that a human buddy diver should have: the buddy “observer” that continuously monitors the diver; the buddy “slave” that is the diver's “extended hand” during underwater operations performing tasks such as “do a mosaic of that area”, “take a photo of that” or “illuminate that”; and the buddy “guide” that leads the diver through the underwater environment. This talk will focus on the CADDY project objectives and some recent results.
Small and low-cost system for underwater inspections (10 min + quest)
By Valérie Auffray, Director of Tecnalia France.
We develop a new kind of ROV to assess the need of small and low-cost vehicles to inspect submerged structures like dams, wind mills pillars or underwater electrical installations. Our system is composed of a ROV, a surface vehicle and a pilot center in the harbour. The ROV is fully omnidirectional to allow inspection in any attitude reducing energy consumption. The pilot sees the camera's feedback and information about the position and attitude of the ROV in an GUI. We will present the innovative mechanical design of our ROV, which is optimized to ensure the same thrust in all direction, and its adaptive control, that permits fast adaptation to environment disturbances. The communication system between the ROV, the surface vehicle and the pilot center will be presented on test applications.
Awareness at sea: From the surface to the deep ocean - the INESC TEC experience (10 min + quest)
by Alfredo Martins, Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto, INESC Proto, Portugal.
Robotic tools provide efficient means for information retrieving in the marine environment, from localized inspection tasks to large scale surveying or monitoring, robots allow us to deal with the challenges of the environment such as immense areas or hostile and dangerous scenarios. These tools contribute to increased awareness for human activity and presence at sea.
This talk will present some of the INESC TEC experience in marine robotics from the perspective of increasing awareness for sea operations. At the surface and in the context of civil applications the ICARUS and SUNNY European FP7 projects will be addressed. Current research activity towards the deep sea (such as the European Defense Agency's Turtle project) will be presented with focus on the challenges and issues pertaining to an increased awareness goal. The talk will also expand on some of the Portuguese recent initiatives for the sea, and their relation with the connection with the industry and SMEs. In particular common infrastructures for research and sea technological SMEs and sea economy support such as the TEC4SEA initiative will also be presented.
Recent Developments in Persistent and Long Term Autonomy in Marine Robotics (10 min + quest)
by David Lane, Director of Ocean Systems Laboratory, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.
Most autonomous marine robots operate with preplanned missions, or limited forms of autonomy involving script switching and re-parameterization in response to pre-programmed events. Realizing the persistent autonomy that match the requirements of ocean users involves implementing a greater capability in understanding sensed events to detect failure and error in task or robot operation, and more capable task planning approaches that can adapt behavior and control in novel ways. This talk with briefly overview some recent developments in this area, principally from FP7 PANDORA , and some open challenges matching industrial requirements.
Organisers of the workshop
Head of the Marine Robotics Topic Group of euRobotics AISBL
massimo.caccia 'at' ge.issia.cnr.it
LIRMM, CNRS / University Montpellier 2, France.
ahmed.chemori ’at’ lirmm.fr
LIRMM, CNRS / University Montpellier 2, France.
vincent.creuze ’at’ lirmm.fr
NATO Science and Technology Organization
CMRE- Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation
Eleni.Patouni 'at' cmre.nato.int