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UW vision and Robotics

GIRONA1000: Cooperative Underwater Robot for intervention

Project reference: DPI2017-86372-C3-2-R
Project Leader
: Pere Ridao
Budget: 122.815€
Duration: 2018-2021

While commercially available Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are routinely used in survey missions, a new set of applications exist which clearly demand intervention capabilities. The maintenance of permanent underwater observatories, submerged oil wells, cabled sensor networks, pipes and the deployment and recovery of benthic stations are but a few of them. Nowadays, these tasks are addressed using manned submersibles or work-class ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicle), equipped with teleoperated arms. Current Intervention-AUVs (I-AUVs) prototypes are big and complex Systems exhibiting only a limited set of functionalities including docking and fixed based manipulation on a subsea panel, as well as search and recovery of simple objects. However, as in the case of human manipulation, more sophisticated applications, like transporting and manipulating bulky objects, or assembling complex structures underwater, would require several I-AUVs working cooperatively. This project aims to achieve a step forward beyond the current underwater intervention state of the art.

The development of a new kind of I-AUVs, able to work autonomously, alone or in a cooperative way, opens the door to face the multi-purpose underwater intervention problem, with potential applications not only in the offshore and nuclear industries, but also in archeology, oceanography or search and rescue missions, among other purposes.

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