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Water-Sea-Ocean Cross-Department Research Theme


Water and sea are key topics of the 21st century. Specifically, preserving the fish stocks, monitoring the marine species or the biodiversity, managing water resources, developing marine renewable energies, depolluting the seabed, and assessing and protecting the submerged cultural heritage are major topics. To address these challenges, French scientists are combining their efforts in multidisciplinary approaches, as shown by the recent creation at the CNRS of a national research group (GdR OMER).

At LIRMM, many researchers from computer science, robotics and microelectronics teams apply their work to the exploration and the monitoring of the aquatic environment, from deep karstic zones to the most remote oceanic areas, by developing innovative tools in collaboration with biologists, ecologists, archaeologists, hydrologists, chemists, or mechanics.

Specificities of the LIRMM

The research is organised around five main themes:

  • Microelectronic systems for tagging and monitoring marine species by satellite or LoRa communication, with in vivo measurement of physiological parameters.
  • Algorithms for processing video or acoustic images by artificial intelligence for the identification of underwater species, for fish counting, or for the detection of underwater waste.
  • Algorithms for automatic localisation and mapping from video and acoustic images in karst or underwater environments.
  • Design and control of underwater robots dedicated to archaeology, biology, pollution control or navigation in confined environments such as drowned karst.
  • Performance guarantee and operational safety of autonomous robotic systems for exploration or environmental monitoring.
  • Redundantly actuated and variable geometry systems

Involved Teams

Dexter (Design and control of robotic manipulators), Explore (Exploration and Robotics for the environment), ICAR (Image & Interaction), SmartIES (Smart Integrated Electronic Systems).

This work is carried out within the framework of multidisciplinary collaborations with other laboratories of the University of Montpellier and with external partners, such as, for example, Ifremer, IRD, ONERA, the French Office of Biodiversity, the French Department of Subaquatic and Underwater Archaeological Research, BRGM, Naval Group, the University of Poitiers, the University of Perpignan, ENSTA Bretagne, the University of Sophia Antipolis, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, CINVESTAV in Mexico, the Instituto di Science Marine (ISMAR-CNR, Italy) and numerous companies.


  • Nov. 22, 2022 : Two talks about recent scientific works within the Water-Sea-Ocean cross-department research theme.  “Geometric Identification of a cable-driven ROV for hydrodynamic monitoring of coastal or portuary areas” par Damien Gueners, Post-doctoral student in Robotics at LIRMM, followed by “New tools for oceanic and bidoversity monitoring: from sensors to sea applications”, by Serge Bernard, Research Director in microelectronics at LIRMM-CNRS.
  • Sept 22 and 23, 2022 : Interdisciplinary German-French Workshop, “3D simulation of the seabed for biology and robotics”, contacts: noura.faraj’at’ and karen.godary-dejean’at’
  • 2022/06/21 : Seminar by Professor Frédéric Boyer, IMT Atlantique / LS2N (Nantes), “Some results in bio-inspired locomotion and sensing for underwater robotics”.
  • 2022/04/21 : Seminar by Professor Oussama Khatib, Director of the Stanford Robotics Laboratory (Stanford University, USA), “Deep Sea Robotic Exploration”.
  • 2022/04/08 : Presentation of the Water-Sea-Ocean cross-department research theme at Submeeting 2022, by V. Creuze.
  • 2022/03/25 : Two talks about recent scientific works within the Water-Sea-Ocean cross-department research theme.  “Bioimpedance for biologging”, by Vincent Kerzérho, Tenure Researcher in microelectronics at LIRMM-CNRS, followed by “Multilevel Fault Tolerance for autonomous robots – Application to an underwater robot”, by Adrien Hereau, PhD candidate in Robotics at LIRMM.
  • 2021/10/04 : Half-day of exchange and presentation of the work of the Dexter, Explore, ICAR and SmartIES teams of the LIRMM.
  • 2021/09/30 : Seminar by Christophe Viel, CNRS Research Fellow at LabSTICC (Brest, France): “Self-management of the umbilical of an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for underwater exploration”.
  • 2021/09/28 : Seminar by Professor Oussama Khatib, Director of the Stanford Robotics Laboratory (Stanford University, USA), “The Era of Human-Robot Collaboration: Deep Sea Exploration”.