A group at the University of Girona wins the European competition of robotic submarines

A student group at the University of Girona has placed first in a European wide competition of robotic submarines. The robotic submarine they built has various capacities, including being able to pass through doors and follow walls.


July 7, 2010 03:47 PM

Girona (CNA).- A group of researchers and students at the University of Girona, with support from investigators from the Computer Vision and Robotics Group (VICOROB), has placed first in a European competition for robotic submarines (SAUC-E 2010).

The competition took place from the 28th of June to the 4th of July in the Italian city of La Spezia. The competition was comprised of ten groups of university students and professors who designed and constructed autonomous robotic submarines with the capacities to complete various tasks such as passing through two doors, following pipes, freeing a float, following walls and going into areas indicated by an acoustic emitter.
The objective of the competition is to promote research activities within university students, establish a network of university centres of research at a European level and encourage technologies and design related to robotic submarines.

What can Sparus do?

Their robot, named ‘Sparus’, is an innovator in its field as it combines hydrodynamics to control low velocities. The robot is designed to be completely autonomous to the tasks proposed in the competition. However, it can also be used in ‘real situations’, such as monitoring the bottom of the ocean floor. The robot contains underwater acoustic sensors and can take pictures and information from its environment on the sea bed.

Through these developed technologies, the underwater robot can inspect and gauge its environment, creating visual maps that allow biologists to carry out related investigations. These algorithms can also be applied in more domestic products, including cleaning robots for swimming pools, among others.

The VICOROB research group has had a long experience with underwater robots. In the 2006 edition of SAUC-E, which took place in London, the team of University of Girona students won the competition with their robot named Ictineu.