MERBOTS (Multifunctional coopERative marine roBOTs for Intervention DomainS). The operational methodology is stablised in 3 steps:
1) Cooperative multimodal 3D seafloor survey,
2) offline 3D scene reconstruction and
3) Cooperative multifunctional intervention.
Project reference: DPI2014-57746-C3-3-R
Total budget: 224.334€
Duration: 3 years (01/01/2015 – 31/12/2017)
Udg project coordinator: Dr. Pere Ridao / Dr. Marc Carreras
The ACHROV (marine ARChaeology through HROV/AUV cooperation) subproject is responsible for providing a team of heterogeneous cooperative marine robots (an ASC, an AUV and an HROV) and their system’s architecture. In particular, ARCHROV will implement an Hybrid-ROV functionality for GIRONA500 AUV, taking profit of the already available ADSL-based umbilical cable/winch system available from the TRITON project which provides a 100 MBs broadband communciation link. SPARUS II AUV will be upgraded to include a lateral thruster to make it holonomic, making it more suitable for 3D mapping of complex environments. The project will also design and implement a new ASC (equipped with Wifi, USBL, AHRS, RTK-DGPS) running an adapted version of the already available ROS-based COLA2 software architecture used in both, GIRONA500 and SPARUSII robots. The architecture will also be extended to allow for the cooperative navigation and guidance and control of the heterogeneous robotic team.
To fullfill the survey needs of MERBOTS, ARCHROV will target the Simulatenous Localization, Mapping and Coverage Path Planning problem in real time. A Multibeam based occupancy grid mapping SLAM algorithm will be implemented to acquire a 3D representation of the environment suitable for coverage path planning algorithms. This will allow the robot to plan safe paths at close distance of the submerged 3D structures in order to gather optical data (laser and stereo). In order to achieve an acurate 3D reconstruction, a laser scanner based on a high-speed 3D camera, a laser plane and a rotating miror will be implemented and used for high-resolution mapping and intervention purposes.
To achieve an efficient multi-robot cooperation, MERBOTS wireless communication will rely on different communication technologies: 1) acoustics, 2) Visual Light Communications 3) Electro Magnetic (this one will be provided by the MERMANIP subproject). ARCHROV project will be the responsible for integrating all those technologies within an Abstract Communication Layer integrated within the ROS architecture. The system will be used for the cooperation between the ASC and the AUV as well as for the communications of the AUV and the HROV during intervention tasks.
Finally, the complete system will be demonstrated in the context of marine archaeology tasks with the collaboration of the Catalan Marine Archaeology Centre (CASC) in the catalan coast.