Successfully tested an autonomous robot for underwater intervention tasks

March 23, 2011 - via Science Knowelege

Researchers and research of the national project RAUVI: Reconfigurable AUV for intervention coordinated by Pedro Sanz, a professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence UJI, successfully tested the robot’s autonomy for underwater intervention tasks, achieve the recovery of an object similar to the black box of an aircraft without the direction of any operator.

The test was conducted at the University of Girona has a pool suitable for experimentation in underwater robotics. During the meeting, researchers also tested the performance of the three parties that form part of the experiment: the robotic arm, which perfects the UJI; the vehicle, which works at the University of Girona, and computer vision techniques, which developed by the Universitat de les Illes Balears.

In the first part of the experiment the vehicle in which the robot was anchored down to the bottom of the pool to survey the area using computer vision techniques and mapped. Then he said the object to be recovered (black box), and the vehicle with the robotic arm plunged again sought the object with the characteristics described above, caught him and pulled him to the surface.

Achieving such a project would reduce the economic efforts and resources inherent in submarine operations, as no ships would be needed to support or umbilical cords, nor ROV pilots responsible for conditions that involve teleoperate Undoubtedly fatigue and stress, thus also would enable the conduct of operations impossible for teleoperated systems and require a continuous connection through umbilical cable to a support ship, which affects vehicle dynamics and limits the travel distance of robot.

At present, the first application seeking more than 40 researchers and research involved, is the recovery of black boxes with this system of autonomous action, but some potential application scenarios that could benefit from this project would achieve certain tasks associated with marine biology, performing routine practices such as taking samples (eg rock, water or sand), at permanent observatories in lifesaving, health care tasks to the diving equipment such as lighting in a particular area or assistance in the use of some type of tool, to name a few.
The project RAUVI: Reconfigurable for intervention AUV 530,000 euros is financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation Spanish, within the VI National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008-2011. Each of the participating universities is responsible for a specific subproject. The UJI is responsible for the mechanical integration of the robotic arm, the visual tracking of the object of interest, the control arm for handling tasks and the user interface to specify these tasks.

The Universitat de Girona is responsible for generating the navigation systems and mechatronics underwater vehicle where the robot is docked. Universitat de les Illes Balears is responsible for assisting in planning and guiding the movements necessary to achieve autonomous robot navigation, using advanced computer vision.

All these experiments will form the basis for a demonstration to the experts of the European Commission on 5 May 2011, during the annual review of the TRIDENT European project, also coordinated by the Public University of Castellón.

Video made by the Universitat de Girona: # p/u/0/qyBeCeXYaYE

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Source: University Jaume I of Castellón, Girona and the Balearic Islands

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