National Technical University of Athens – Control Systems Lab

The National Technical University (NTUA) is the oldest and most prestigious educational institution of Greece in the field of technology, and has contributed increasingly to the country’s scientific, technical and economic development since its foundation in 1836. Control Systems Lab (CSL), part of the Mechanical Engineering School of NTUA, is involved in many research areas such as Underwater Robotics, Aerial Vehicles, Neurorobotics, Multiagent Systems and Mobile Robots. The CSL Group is internationally recognized for R&D in robotics and automation technologies, with international contacts in industry, government and the EU. CSL is a team of 3 faculties and 6 permanent engineers with experience in leading EU, US & Canada organizations and interests in robotics, mechatronics & automation technologies. They guide a team of 15 Doctoral,5 MS and 20 Diploma students.

Underwater lab is a part of the CSL group. We address the issue of semi-autonomous ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) navigation and control. Underwater vehicles operate in complex and uncertain environments partially due to the highly nonlinear hydrodynamics and external disturbances (waves, currents and cable effects). Thus, the development of feedback control schemes, accompanied with online estimation algorithms of the dynamic environment is required for efficient and reliable performance in real-time applications. Current research focuses on AUV’s and how to increase the autonomy of such vehicles so they can operate without human intervention for extended periods of time (48+ hours). Issues related to Sensor Fusion, Localization, Target Tracking in Image Space and Visual Servoing Control Schemes for nonholonomic and holonomic vehicles, are also considered. Real world applications could involve ship hull inspection, seabed mapping, navigation in an unknown environment and underwater manipulation. The CSL-NTUA expertise will complement the consortium on the fields of “Real-time Control” as WP4 coordinators (Robust Control Strategies for Efficient Positioning and Interaction).

NTUA-CSL contacts in academia, industry, government, the EU and the US have led, since 2000 to projects in the areas of: (a) Multi-Robot Heterogeneous teams: cooperation, sensor based motion planning and control, (b) Distributed embedded control systems and architectures, and (c) Design – modeling and control of (micro-,bio-)mechatronic systems. Indicative, current or immediate past projects include: R3-COP,CEASAR, iFLY, HYBRIDGE , THE:The Hand Embodied, I-SWARM

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