Doctoral thesis “Robot Learning applied to Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for intervention tasks” By Arnau Carrera Viñas Supervised by Marc Carreras, Narcís Palomeras and Petar Kormushev   ABSTRACT The interest in performing underwater tasks using AUVs has been growing over the past few decades. The initial focus was on the exploration of underwater areas, performing survey trajectories harvesting data to build bathymetric maps or photo-mosaics. Later the focus of research switched to performing inspections of underwater structures or elements (e.g., pipelines) which required more complex behaviours and localization methods. Advances in these fields have awakened the interest of the community in using AUVs to perform intervention tasks, replacing ROVs and manned submersibles. This replacement offers the possibility of automatizing tasks, increasing the efficiency and repetitively, as well as reducing cost, time, and the equipment needed to perform an underwater intervention. I-AUVs open the door for more companies and scientists to increase the frequency of…


The 60th MTS/IEEE OCEANS Conference took place from the 19th to 22nd of June 2017 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Covering all aspects of ocean science, technology and engineering, the conference provides a nice venue for interaction among engineers, researchers, and marine scientists.   Girona Underwater Vision and Robotics team together participated in all aspects of the conference, with the showcase of the Sparus II AUV in the exhibition hall, presentation on our work on Real-time Fish Detection in the main program as well as with two PhD students (Eduard Vidal and Klemen Istenic selected for the student poster competition.   During the three day competition for the Student Poster Award, 20 selected students from around the world had to present their work in front of their posters to 8 international judges as well as other interested public. This gave the students a chance to get valuable feedback from experienced scientists from both academia and industry….

Girona acull la quarta edició del Congrés de Robotica Submarina EMRA

Els passats dies 15 i 16 de Maig de 2017 va tenir lloc la conferència EMRA (4th Workshop on EU-funded Marine Robotics and Applications) al Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la Universitat de Girona. L’objectiu de l’esdeveniment és la posta en comú dels resultats dels projectes europeus que han estat finançats per la Comissió Europea dins la comunitat científica i la comunitat empresarial, fomentant la creació de xarxes de col·laboració i, sobretot, esperant la creació de sinèrgies per a nous projectes.   L’esdeveniment, que fou organitzat per l’Institut de Recerca ViCOROB de la Universitat de Girona conjuntament amb la Universitat de Zagreb i l’institut de recerca INESC TEC de Porto, ha estat realitzat dins el marc de dos projectes europeus en col·laboració. A Girona s’hi han reunit un total de 93 persones, i més de 25 persones han fet seguiment online de l’esdeveniment.   A la conferència es van fer…

7th workshop on maritime automation

From May 4th-5th the seventh conference on maritime automation ”AUTOMAR” took place in Castelló de la Plana, where the conference was hosted by the university of Jaume I.   The conference with participants and speakers from Spain, France and Italy, was met by research process and scientific interest. During the two days, the conference was divided into several main themes, based on challenges and opportunities in underwater robotic that lay on ocean science, technology and industry, allowing the attendees to exchange ideas and issues.   The conference by itself was a nice experience, where I met new and interesting researchers and got a new perspectives.        

MERBOTS/ARCHROV Experiments demonstrate semi-autonomous Grasping Capabilities

During the week of the 27th of March the experiments of the MERBOTS National Research project involving 3 teams form UJI, UIB and UdG have been held in Girona.   The experiments where first performed at the CIRS water tank and then reproduced at Sant Feliu Harbor. The experiments involved two cooperative robots. SPARUS II AUV equipped with a lateral thruster and a forward-looking camera was used as a ‘flying camera’. The robot was teleoperated to achieve a desired view of a target (an amphora) and Visual Servoing techniques were used to keep the robot in place. Then GIRONA 500 AUV equipped with a 4 DOF, a stereo cam and a real-time 3D laser scanner was used to autonomously grasp the object.

Rafael Garcia gives a talk in Vigo University on the development of technology for underwater exploration

Marine habitats play an important role in the understanding and management of ocean resources. The development of technology for underwater exploration is essential for the monitoring of these areas sensitive to environmental changes or pollution, but also for coastal development and management plans for marine protected areas. However, such exploration faces serious difficulties, mainly due to the intrinsic hostility of the underwater environment.   The advances of recent years in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence allow us to develop robots that are becoming more autonomous and allow us to process a greater amount of data in an automated way. These advances will enable us in the future to move towards a scalable solution to the problem of access to infrastructures for ocean observation, by means of cheaper robot fleets with greater observation and intervention capabilities.   In this presentation, Rafael Garcia described the work being carried out at…

Welcome to the EMRA 2017

Welcome to the 4th EU funded Marine Robotics and Applications Workshop (EMRA ’17)   We are pleased to invite you to attend the EMRA Workshop that will take place from 15-16 May 2017 in Girona at the Science and Technology Park at the University of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.   Following the success of the EMRA´16 that took place in 2016 in UK, we hereby invite researchers and end-users of marine robotics technology to attend EMRA´17. The workshop will summarize current EU FP7 and H2020 projects on  marine robotics and provide a platform for marine stakeholders to share and discuss current technological challenges and achievements.   The workshop will feature 2 invited plenary sessions given by leading research scientists around the world, the presentation of the latest results of FP7 and H2020 marine robotics related projects and the always motivating sessions of industry focused on the latest innovations and products in the market.  …

Wishing you the best for 2017

ViCOROB wants to wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year…:) This year we felt like going handcrafted / recycled to make our Christmas Greetings… The result is here, we hope you enjoy it! We will be closed from December the 23th to January the 6th 2017.     Des de ViCOROB us volem desitjar Bones Festes i Feliç Any Nou 2017. Aquest any ens em sentit creatius, alhora de fer la nostra felicitació de Nadal… Aquest és el resultat, esperem el disfriteu!! Us recordem que, durant aquestes vacances (23 desembre a 6 de gener), restarem tancats.      

STRONGMAR winter school takes place in Girona

Last week, from 17 to 21st of October, took place in Girona the STRONGMAR winter school on “Underwater Vision and Robotics”. In the framework of this twinning action, EC funded, that aims to enhance the scientific and technological capacity of INESC TEC and linked institutions in research, such training activities are a key for success.   Our team shared its knowledge on the topics of underwater vision and path planning. Further training is planned in the future, both in Porto and in Girona again.   Around 20 students attended the event together with engineers, professors and postdoctoral fellows.   More about STRONGMAR More about the Winter School

IQUA Robotics – la nova EBT de ViCOROB

Una nova concepció de la robòtica submarina amb més capacitat d’observació, flexibilitat per adaptar els dispositius a un gran número d’aplicacions i qualitat dels dissenys. Aquests són els punts clau dels productes que oferirà IQUA Robotics S.L, una nova empresa de base tecnològica (EBT) sorgida de la Universitat de Girona i que s’ha constituït aquest matí al Parc Científic i Tecnològic.   L’empresa s’ha creat a partir de la valorització dels resultats de projectes duts a terme al CIRS, el laboratori de recerca en robòtica submarina de l’Institut de Visió per Computador i Robòtica (VICOROB) de la UdG en els darrers 10 anys.   En el context d’aquesta recerca, VICOROB ha dissenyat diferents prototips de robots submarins amb avançades capacitats motrius i sensorials respecte als robots comercials actuals amb l’objectiu d’ampliar el ventall d’aplicacions d’aquests tipus de vehicles. Els robots submarins desenvolupats pels investigadors de la UdG s’han concebut per…