Short-Term Mission at Girona University

After the Thematic Workshop on Autonomous Underwater Manipulation, held at the University of Girona on 11th and 12th February 2020, Eduardo Soares, a PhD student from the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS-INESC TEC) carried out a shot term scientific mission at CIRS facilities (Girona University) within the framework of Deepfield project from the 13th of February until the 12th of March. It was organized by the partners from the University of Girona (ViCOROB – Computer Vision and Robotics Research Group and CIRS – Girona Underwater Vision and Robotics Research Centre) with the purpose to gain knowledge related with robotics intervention and control.
The activities performed by the young researcher during his one month stay focused on learning how the Stonefish simulator, presented during the Thematic Workshop, can be used to accelerate development and testing of perception algorithms that have to work in combination with the control system of the I-AUV, to enable automatization of intervention tasks utilising underwater manipulators. He used his knowledge in computer vision to develop new implementation of an underwater panel detection algorithm that is an essential component of a the vision-based feedback control of the I-AUV, in autonomous valve turning scenario. He learned how the whole-body Task Priority (TP) kinematic control algorithm can be combined with on-line perception delivering position feedback, to successfully operate a set of valves located on an underwater panel. Moreover, he learned how the COLA2 control architecture used at CIRS, can be used to standardise the software of different underwater robots, which delivers long-term benefits in development and maintenance of the platforms. Finally, he learned how the Stonefish simulator and the modularity of the COLA2 software allow for performing realistic hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations, following which the same software can be directly tested on the real robots.
Eduardo Soares was mentored by Pere Ridao from UdG and José Almeida (INESC TEC).