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DOCTORAL THESIS: Online Acoustic Localization Methods for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

By Guillem Vallicrosa Massaguer Supervised by Dr. Pere Ridao Abstract Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) true autonomy capabilities in complex poten-tially unknown environments, have not yet been fully achieved because of the lack of online algorithms that can solve fundamental problems such as localization, mapping and path-planning on-board the AUV and consequently react according to their outputs. These algorithms can empower them for new capabilities such as long-term deployments, au-tonomous exploration and autonomous intervention.   This thesis presents the development of two online localization algorithms for AUVs. The first algorithm is based on a Sum of Gaussian (SOG) filter for online range-only lo-calization of an acoustic beacon, e.g. localization of a Docking Station (DS) for battery recharging and data uploading. Two different versions of the algorithm are developed, one based on Dead Reckoning (DR) navigation and one based on a full Simultaneous Local-ization and Mapping (SLAM) solution. Moreover, an Active Localization...

DOCTORAL THESIS: Underwater Navigation and Mapping with an Omnidirectional Optical Sensor

Doctoral thesis “Underwater Navigation and Mapping with an Omnidirectional Optical Sensor” By Josep Bosch Alay Supervised by Dr. Nuno Gràcias / Dr. Pere Ridao   Abstract Omnidirectional vision has received increasing interest during the last decade from the computer vision community. A large number of camera models have reached the market to meet the increasing demand for panoramic imagery. However, the use of omnidirectional cameras underwater is still very limited. In this thesis we propose a number of methods to create a reference resource for designing, calibrating and using underwater omnidirectional multi-camera systems.     The first problem we address is the design and calibration of omnidirectional cameras for the underwater domain. Among the different imaging system approaches to capturing omnidirectional imagery we chose the use of multi-cameras, due to the higher resolution and quality of the final images obtained. In order to assist the design and insure a proper…

ViCOROB team at IROS Madrid 2018

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2018) took place from the 1st to the 5th of October in Madrid (Spain). It is the most important scientific event on robotics worldwide. The event counted on the participation of more than 4,000 people and was organized by Universidad Carlos III.   ViCOROB participated in the event with the keynote speech of Pere Ridao (PI of the underwater robotics lab) on “Underwater 3D Mapping and Intervention“, the presentations of scientific work of the MSCA Postdoctoral fellow Patryk Cieslak and the PhD student Dina Youakim and the presentation of a poster in the UdG coorganized parallel workshop on “New Horizons for Underwater Intervention Missions: From Current Technologies to Future Applications” of the Visiting Postoctoral fellow Roberto Simoni.   Also, the startup of the institute, IQUA robotics presented its developed technologies in a booth at the commercial exhibition.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nubU7HQHg2Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV57sYVKKJI  

Breaking the Surface -10th year celebration

By Guillem Vallicrosa Photos: BTS organization   We attended the 10th International interdisciplinary field workshop of maritime robotics and applications – Breaking the Surface – BTS 2018. The conference was held on 30 Sep – 7 Oct, in Biograd na Moru, Croatia.   “BTS is a conference not only focused on marine robotics, but also in its applications like marine biology, marine geology, and underwater archaeology.   It was the second time I attended BTS, first time was back in 2014. Since it was the 10th year celebration we could find many pictures remembering all the different editions where we found ourselves and many people that we know from projects and other conferences. The conference is divided between mornings having different talks about the different topics, and the afternoon with workshops, hand-on, and demos of various robots and software.   Regarding our university, we had a tutorial from Nuno and…

Plenary meeting of the EUMarineRobots project in Croatia

EU Marine Robots (EUMR) is an H2020 infrastructures project coordinated by the University of Porto. The main objective of the EUMR project is to open up key national and regional marine robotics research infrastructures (RIs) to all European researchers, from both academia and industry, ensuring their optimal use and joint development to establish a world-­class marine robotics integrated infrastructure.   The EUMR team gathered in a plenary meeting in Biograd Na Moru, Croatia, on the eve of Breaking the Surface Workshop. The main goal of the reunion was the approval of the Trans National Access (TNA) first call, launched on the 2nd of October 2018. On ViCOROB side, the attendees were: Pere Ridao (PI), Guillem Vallicrosa (Researcher) and Joseta Roca (Project Manager).   More about the call: https://www.eumarinerobots.eu/tna-calls Dissemination video for the call: https://vimeo.com/293111913 More about EUMR: http://vicorob.udg.edu/portfolio_page/eumr/ More about BtS: https://bts.fer.hr  

We attended 11th IFAC – CAMS 2018

We attended 11th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles – CAMS 2018   Khadidja Himri had the opportunity to attend The 11th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles – CAMS 2018, that was held on 10th-12th September 2018, in Opatija, Croatia; a Mediterranean town reflecting Central European charm.   “CAMS 2018 is the 11th Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles, the conference was all about the latest achievements in the field of automatic control applied to marine systems, marine robotics, and marine vehicles. It was the first international conference I have ever attended and also the first time presenting as well, where I was accepted to present our work “ Semantic SLAM for an AUV using object recognition from point clouds“, during the invited session. CAMS 2018 was a great conference with many interesting sessions and…

Summer time

What? Is it true that summer has already started? Upps… where is everyone? On the beach? We will be closed from the 6th to the 27th of August. Have a nice holiday!   Un moment, un moment….Què? Que ja ha arribat l’estiu? Epsss… cap a la platja hi falta gent… nosaltres marxem el 6 i tornem el 27 d’agost. Bon estiu!!   #CirsInSummer

International experience: Life in HWU

Patryk Cieślak, a postdoc who was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie -Curie Individual Fellowship to join the University of Girona is working at the CIRS laboratory, under the supervision of Pere Ridao, to enable underwater intervention with a sense of touch. He is using our flagship vehicle Girona500 equipped with an electric manipulator and a force/torque sensor to demonstrate missions requiring control of interaction forces between the robot and the environment. One of the scenarious that he tackles is the inspection of underwater pipes, which is highly relevant to the industry. The expected experimental results will move foreward the state of the art of autonomous underwater intervention.   The researcher is now visiting the Ocean Systems Laboratory at the Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he works under the supervision of our friend Yvan Petillot. He is using the advanced underwater manipulator which is available at the lab to test his control…

EU Research and Industry meet at EMRA Limerick

EU workshop on EU-funded Marine Robotics and Applications (EMRA) has taken place in Limerick (Ireland). Organized on the framework of EXCELLABUST and EUMR H2020 projects, the event is a perfect occasion to put together researchers and industry and establish and enhance relations between them. EMRA has been organized by the University of Limerick Center of Robotics and Intelligent Systems.   The two-day single-track conference program included more than twenty speakers with plenty of time for discussions and networking. Presentations from ongoing EU-funded research projects mixed with presentations from industry, policy makers and end-users. A dedicated space was provided for exhibits and demonstrations.   Patryk Cieslak presented his results on the 3D-AUV project for the first year. And Josep Quintana, former ViCOROB member, presented ROBUST project, where his current company Coronis Computing is participating.   Next year, EMRA is going to take place in Toulon (France) hosted by one of the…

We travel to the land down under: visit at CSIRO research center and participation at ICRA 2018

The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) took place in Brisbane, Australia, from 21 to 25 of May. Established in 1984 and held annually, the conference joins experts in the field of robotics and automation for technical communications through presentations and discussions.   ViCOROB participated in the conference, once again. Narcís Palomeras presented the work “Autonomous Mapping of Underwater 3D Structures: From View Planning to Execution”, and Eduard Vidal presented “Optimized Environment Exploration for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles”. Eduard was also awarded with a Student Travel Grant from the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) to participate in the event. Both works are related to underwater robotic exploration and view planning.   We took that opportunity for visited the center of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) located in Brisbane. This organization is an independent agency of the Australian federal government in charge of scientific research.   A…