Author archive - franmau

About the Author


End of the project: some thoughts from our partner NTUA

The Final Year for the Pandora Project has ended successfully for the whole Consortium, but also for NTUA specifically. During the last Year the NTUA Team succesfully collaborated with all the Partnerns (HWU, UdG, KCL, IIT) for the last scientific and technical contributions, participated in the Final Integration Meeting in UdG (Girona, Spain) . A significant part of the work was dedicated to the fine tuning of the software implementations related to the vehicles (Girona500, Nessie VI) motion and interaction control schemes, which played a very important role in the three Demonstration Scenarios.
Moreover, during the Final Year NTUA worked towards transferring an important part of the PANDORA Project technological achievements to the local NTUA underwater infrastructure. More specific, the NTUA Team: i) developed a local ROS simulator based on the UWSim in order to test robust motion control schemes for underactuated underwater vehicles ii) submitted a journal paper entitled : “Trajectory Tracking with Prescribed Performance for Underactuated Underwater Vehicles with Model Uncertainties” at IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Journal, which for the time being is condiatially accepted for publication iii) Designed and Implemented a small 4 DoF underwater manipulator which was installed on the NTUA Seabotix LBV, iv) Designed and implemeted an EKF based Navigation System for the NTUA UVMS (Seabotix LBV – 4 DoF manipulator), v) Designed and implemented various position, velocity and visual servo control schemes for the NTUA UVMS, which were succesfully tested in the local CSL new test tank.

Experiments at NTUA Local Infrastructure

 Experiments at NTUA Local Infrastructure

Special Issue “Autonomous Robots”

Download the flyer: AURO CFP – Marine Robotoics

~Special Issue Call for Papers~

“Towards Long-Term Autonomy in Marine Robotics”

Guest Editors:
Marc Carreras, University of Girona, Spain
David Lane, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Francesco Maurelli, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Kanna Rajan, University of Porto, Portugal

In recent years, persistent autonomous operations have become a key area of interest for marine robotics researchers. As hardware costs have plummeted, sensors measuring various oceanographic properties have proliferated and the use of robotic platforms within the ocean science community has increased, the need for increased autonomy to perform tasks over large spatial and temporal durations. The challenge in doing so, is particularly severe in the context of the marine environment however, and especially for robotic assets to be observable and communicable over space and time. Over and beyond making time-series measurements marine robots have demonstrated their capability to respond to episodic events, perform targeted sample collection, track dynamic phenomenon in rough coastal environments and make quasi-synoptic observations in the meso-scale.

However, there continue to be significant challenges to marine robotic operations. While commercial deep-water oilfield inspection with autonomous vehicles is now a commercial reality, fielded robots continue to rely heavily on accurate a priori models of the subsea assets and expose limited capabilities for autonomous decision making.

Most autonomous vehicles in the marine environment are limited to preplanned missions, or to limited forms of autonomy involving script switching and re-parametrisation in response to pre-programmed events. Realizing the persistent autonomy that users in the ocean increasingly demand is involving a greater capability in understanding sensed events to detect failure and error, and more capable task planning approaches that can adapt behaviour and control in novel ways.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
Autonomous long-term navigation, localization and SLAM
Automated dynamic re-planning, planning under uncertainty
Semantic-based world modelling, probabilistic approaches in ontologies
Architectures for long-term autonomy
Robust learning techniques
Probabilistic graphical models
Bio-inspired and bio-mimetic approaches
Multi-vehicle cooperation potentially in multiple domains (air, surface, underwater)

In this special issue of Autonomous Robots journal, we invite:
Research papers to report innovative work in the field (up to 20 pages)
Applied research case-studies to analyse industrial needs, current states and needs for current and future operations (up to 20 pages)

Important Dates:
Paper submission deadline: 15th October 2014
First reviews completed: 15th January 2015
Revised papers due: 15th February 2015
Potential publication date: Summer 2015

Manuscripts must be submitted to: Choose “Long-term autonomy in Marine Robotics” as the article type.

Pandora @Oceans’13 San Diego, California

Great success of the Pandora project in San Diego, California, USA for the Oceans’13 conference, 23-26 September 2013, the biggest conference in oceanic engineering.

  • Pandora Special Sessions: The Pandora team presented seven papers, grouped into two dedicated sessions. The room was always full, with many questions showing interest from the different researchers attending the conference.
  • Speakers’ Breakfast: PANDORA Table for AUV Autonomy sessions!

  • Tali Hurtòs wins the Poster Competition: with a work focused on novel blending techniques for sonar mosaicing, in the framework of the Pandora project, Tali wins the 1st prize of the student poster competition. Congratulations !!!
  • The winning poster

The conference was very well attended with two exhibition halls, and several parallel technical tracks, and in-water demos at the harbour, being a unique possibility to showcase the Pandora project and its results.
Alongside the hard work, some time for an Hawaiian-style dinner at USS Midway was well deserved for the Pandora team:

Pandora team at USS Midway for Conference Gala Dinner (Hawaiian style)

Pandora: internationally highly visible project

Pandora: internationally highly visible project

The month of September has seen the FP7 Pandora project, coordinated by HWU featuring in very high profile events across Europe:

Brussels, Belgium : MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) Signing Event for the Robotics Public-Private Partnership, with the presence of the EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes and members of her cabinet. Pandora was the only project highlighted dealing with underwater technology.

Arenzano, Italy : IFAC MCMC ’12 conference – one of the most important AUV-related conferences organised by the International Federation of Automatic Control, on Manoeuvring and Control of Marine Craft, with worldwide speakers and audience.

Southampton, UK : IEEE AUV’12 – the only IEEE conference totally devoted to AUV research and technology, with worldwide speakers and audience.