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 ( 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…



From Wednesday 9th to Friday 18th of July, several MORPH European project experiments were held in Girona. Their goal was to prepare for the upcoming trials in the Azores islands next September. The Variable Geometry Range Only Navigation (VG-ROF) algorithm was tested with the IST Medusas, the UdG SparusII and Girona500, and the ATLAS SEACAT. The first three days were devoted to software integration, at CIRS facilities, to have everything ready for the trials carried out in Sant Feliu’s harbor. During the second week multiple missions with different vehicle configurations were tested. The main purpose was to grab images and multibeam data from the seafloor while maintaining the vehicle’s formation. Some tests regarding a new configuration, named USBL formation, were also simulated and tested in water.   The MORPH FP7 project is funded by the European Comission on ICT Robotics Programme.   Picture: DSOR Lab – IST – Portugal


Presenting PANDORA FP7 and MORPH FP7 projects at EMRA 2014

Our researchers Pere Ridao and Marc Carreras are currently in Rome in the Workshop on EU Funded Marine Robotics and Applications (EMRA 2014). Researchers and users of marine robotic technology are invited to EMRA2014. The workshop shall summarize current EU FP7 marine robotics research, and provide a platform for marine stakeholders to share their current technological challenges. For researchers, EMRA2014 will offer dissemination opportunities for existing work, and highlight new application areas for consideration in future work. For marine research stakeholders, EMRA2014 will offer novel approaches to solve marine challenges, and a platform for directing future research threads. MORPH project will be presented today at 14h by Antonio Pascoal from IST-ISR and PANDORA project will be presented tomorrow in the afternoon by Marc Carreras. Follow ERMA2014 on streaming


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…

TRITON National Funded project experiments in Girona

From Monday 12th to Friday 16th of May, the TRITON national project experiments where held in Girona. The goal of these experiments was to localize an underwater panel with an acoustic ranging sensor. Once the panel is localized, the AUV homes to it and, once closer, using a vision-based system docks in it and performs an autonomous intervention. This intervention is split in two parts, first the vehicle manipulates a valve (open/close) and then connects and disconnects a hot stab. The first day was dedicated to system integration between the Girona500, the arm brought by the UJI team and the cameras from UIB team. Second and third days, the experiments were validated in the CIRS water tank to later move to the Sant Feliu’s harbor in the last days to perform them in a proper environment. All tasks could be achieved on the harbor tests, although some problems with visibility…


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…


PANDORA FP7 2nd annual review in Girona

Next thursday the 6th of March it will take the 2nd annual review of the PANDORA FP7 project funded on the Cognitive Robotics topic.   Researchers from the 5 participating entities will gather in Girona to present to the EC officer and reviewers the work done in the last year. On friday, an advisory board from industrial world will give advise to the consortium regarding the commercial possibilities of the created technologies.   More info about PANDORA


ROBOCADEMY kick-off meeting in Bremen

oday it takes place the kick off meeting of ROBOACADEMY – “European Academy for Marine and Underwater Robotics”, FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN, in Bremen.   The Robocademy ITN will establish a European training and research network to develop key skills and enabling technologies in underwater robotics for the scientific and economic exploration of the oceans (e.g. offshore oilfield of the future). Through the close collaboration of leading research institutes, academia, industry, and SMEs in robotics, marine technology, marine science, and offshore industry, Robocademy will provide first-class training and research opportunities for ESRs.   GOOD LUCK to all the consortium members! More info


New Project: EUROFLEETS2

The main objectives of EUROFLEETS2 are: Promotion of operational coordination and integration of RVs. Modern European RVs are made accessible under EUROFLEETS2 Completion of strategic perspectives for the European research fleets with a polar component; Promotion of exchanges of mobile equipment on board European RVs to foster interoperability; Enhancing the impact of research fleets on innovation by fostering the involvement of industry in specific activities, both as end user or as supplier; Development of new training actions including a pilot floating university, and of new technological innovations to be widely used on board European RVs; Taking a new step towards the creation of a long-term sustainable group of European Regional RVs and its insertion into the ESFRI roadmap. Furthermore, EUROFLEETS2 will undertake specific actions to consolidate research fleets’ organization, methodology and tools through operational initiatives (like virtual fleets) leading to more interoperable and cost effective European research fleets. We are…