News

SPARUSII AUV euRathlon

Veni, vidi, vici. Felicitats als campions de l’euRathlon!

L’equip de la Universitat de Girona amb el seu robot submarí  Sparus II AUV es proclama vencedor de la competició euRathlon   L’SPARUS II AUV, un robot autònom submarí desenvolupat al CIRS, es va proclamar campió a la competició europea en robòtica submarina euRathlon celebrada la setmana passada (29/9-3/10/14) a La Spezia, Itàlia.   euRathlon és una competició europea de robòtica submarina on hi competeixen diferents equips amateurs i on es plantegen reptes d’aplicació real del camp de la robòtica submarina. En un camp tecnològic tant innovador, existeixen poques per a valorar les capacitats d’aquests robots i, aquest tipus de competicions són, per tant, un referent tant per a centres de recerca com per a institucions i empreses.   De les cinc jornades de competició, el comitè de jutges, format per especialistes en diversos camps de la robòtica, l’enginyeria i la tecnologia naval, va atorgar a l’SPARUS II AUV quatre…

arnau-udg-pandora

Open PhD position in Omnidirectional Computer Vision for Underwater Robots

The Computer Vision and Robotics Group of the University of Girona (UdG), Spain, has opened a full-time PhD position in the area of Omnidirectional Computer Vision for Underwater Robots. The research will be conducted in the Computer Vision and Robotics institute of the UdG (http://vicorob.udg.edu/) under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Garcia and Dr. Nuno Gracias.   The research will focus on using underwater cameras with very wide field of view (providing hemispherical coverage) to assist the operation of underwater robots. These cameras open up new unexplored capabilities of immersive telepresence, efficient optical mapping in cluttered environments and vehicle safety. The overall goal is to develop new capabilities to assist scientists operating a lightweight hybrid remotely operated vehicle in exploratory missions of mapping and surveying.   The group will offer a 4-year contract (3 years as PhD candidate + 1 year of postdoc).     Applicant profile   The applicants…

FP7 European Project MORPH: next generation of underwater robotics for ocean exploration tested in the Azores

From 8 to 18 September 2014, the Center of IMAR of the University of the Azores is hosting the sea trials of a new type of robotics-based distributed sensor system, aimed at affording marine scientists and commercial operators a revolutionary tool for marine habitat mapping in complex 3D environments. The tests are being performed in the scope of the EC research project MORPH, entitled Marine Robotic System of Self-Organising, Logically Linked Physical Nodes.   Launched in February 2012, the 4-year research project MORPH is partly funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme with a budget of 8,5 million Euros. The major goal of the project is to develop a distributed robotic underwater system carrying complementary sensors for complex underwater mapping missions.  At the core of the innovative solution adopted is the concerted operation of a number of relatively simple, affordable vehicles, capable of cooperating seamlessly and behave as an…

R2B2

2a edició del campus PRESUB – robòtica submarina educativa

Del 7 al 11 de juliol va tenir lloc la segona edició del Campus PRESUB a les instal•lacions del Centre de Robòtica Submarina (Parc Científic i Tecnològic), amb la participació d’ una vintena d’estudiants de secundària de diferents centres de les comarques gironines. L’objectiu bàsic d’aquests tallers és la realització d’activitats científico-tecnològiques de caire lúdic que resultin interessants i atractives que permetin incrementar el interès de la societat, i més concretament dels estudiants de secundària, per la tecnologia i que fomentin els valors propis de l’enginyeria. Aquest objectiu és compartit pel Departament d’Arquitectura i Tecnologia de Computadors, pel Consell Social de la Universitat de Girona i pel Patronat de l’Escola Politècnica Superior que donen suport a aquesta edició d’estiu dels tallers de robòtica submarina. La Plataforma Oceànica de Canàries (PLOCAN) també ha donat suport actiu al desenvolupament d’aquesta activitat. D’altra banda, un dels interessos principals del grup de recerca en…

euROBOTICS

EU launches world’s largest civilian robotics programme – 240,000 new jobs expected

The European Commission and 180 companies and research organisations (under the umbrella of euRobotics) today launch the world’s largest civilian research and innovation programme in robotics. Covering manufacturing, agriculture, health, transport, civil security and households, the initiative – called SPARC – is the EU’s industrial policy effort to strengthen Europe’s position in the global robotics market (€60 billion a year by 2020). This initiative is expected to create over 240,000 jobs in Europe, and increase Europe’s share of the global market to 42% (a boost of €4 billion per year). The European Commission will invest €700 million and euRobotics €2.1 billion.   The University of Girona, as member of euRobotics, supports this action. ViCOROB has participated in several euRobotics meetings and is part of several projects consortiums in the current actions. We expect to succeed in H2020 as well. Such initiavtives are worth to be well known by society. Local…

3D mapping

Ricard Campos defends his PhD thesis “Surface Reconstruction Methods for Seafloor Modelling”

Underwater maps are an important source of information for the scientific community, since mapping the seafloor is the starting point for underwater exploration. The advance of range scanning methodologies, both using acoustic and optical techniques, enables the mapping of the seabed to attain increasingly larger resolutions. However, all these techniques sample the surface to reconstruct in the form of a point cloud. For the case of areas containing non-trivial 3D relief, achieving a continuous representation from this discrete sampling is a complex task. Surface reconstruction methods try to tackle this problem by recovering a continuous surface representing the object in the form of a mesh of triangles, easing visualization and further processing. This thesis proposes four different strategies to tackle the problem of surface reconstruction from point sets. We start by reviewing the state of the art on surface reconstruction methods. From this survey, we extract some conclusions regarding the…

Angelos Pdh

Angelos Mallios defends his PhD Thesis “Sonar Scan Matching for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping in Confined Underwater Environments”

This thesis presents the development of a localization and mapping algorithm for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). It is based on probabilistic scan matching of raw sonar scans within a pose-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) framework.   To address the motion-induced distortions affecting the generation of full sector scans, an extended Kalman filter (EKF) is used to estimate the robot motion during that scan. The filter uses a constant velocity model with acceleration noise for motion prediction.Velocities from Doppler velocity log (DVL) and heading measurements from attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) are fed asynchronously and update the state. The scan is undistorted by compounding the relative robot position in the scan, with the range and bearing measurements of the beams gathered by the sonar. Assuming Gaussian noise, the algorithm is able to estimate the uncertainty of the sonar measurements with respect to a frame located at the center…

phd-galceran

Coverage Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Doctoral thesis “Coverage Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles” By Enric Galceran, PhD student of the Doctoral Program in Technology Supervised by Dr. Marc Carreras Pérez   Abstract At present, a mission to survey the ocean floor with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is typically planned by selecting a list of waypoints that then the vehicle will automatically navigate through while keeping a safe distance from the bottom. Nonetheless, this approach has major drawbacks: (1) it does not allow the vehicle to safely operate amidst protrusions on the sea floor; (2) when traversing rugged terrain, the vehicle is forced to keep a conservative altitude, limiting applications  requiring close proximity such as photomosaicing; (3) when inspecting 3D, protruding structures from the bottom the vehicle can only perceive them from an overhead viewpoint, resulting in poor data collected from these sites; (4) it does not account for the effect of the terrain…

morph-experiments

7FP European Project MORPH: the next step in the future of underwater robotics

From 7-11th April 2014, a number of autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (robots) from several European institutions will be tested in the Costa Brava area, Spain. The tests will be carried out by 26 scientists from Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, and Spain. The major goal of these field trials is to demonstrate that the MORPH ensemble of vehicles can acquire data to map the sea bottom while operating in a cooperative manner and reacting to environmental conditions. The trials will focus on the execution of an optical and acoustic surveying mission with two surface and two underwater vehicles moving in formation and avoiding on-line detected obstacles. This is a preliminary step towards increasingly more complex cooperative missions over natural rugged terrain.   MORPH (Marine Robotic System of Self-Organising, Logically Linked Physical Nodes) is a four-year project funded by the European Commission that started in 2012, with an overall budget of…