Distributed 3D Environmental Sensing with a Team of Underwater Robots

Bringing advantages of parallelism and robustness, distributed robotic systems have become an active subject of research since many years. Yet, the progress in that direction with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) has been limited. This project aims at developing a cooperative multi-AUV system for limnological surveying. Current underwater sensing techniques rely on manually deploying sensor probes, a tedious process that provides data at limited resolutions. In contrast, multiple robots equipped with measurement probes and operating in parallel can quickly obtain high-resolution 3D environmental snapshots – essential to capture small-scale, fast-changing phenomena. Several methods exist in literature for such cooperative sensing strategies with aerial and ground robots. However, underwater environments pose additional challenges, primarily with regard to navigation and communication. Considering the complexity and cost of existing solutions for large marine AUVs, a cooperative system with miniature AUVs calls for developing novel techniques. We aim to address the aforementioned challenges within this project. Subsequently, we intend to study how we can exploit in-water cooperation among several AUVs for improving navigation as well as quality and efficiency of the data gathering process.

Team and Collaborators

In collaboration with:

Sponsors and Research Period

This project started in August 2016.

It is sponsored by the Sinergia, Swiss National Science Foundation for a period of four years.

Related Student Projects and Internships

DISAL-SP129: Hannes Kaspar Rovina, Cooperative Localization for a Swarm of AUVs

DISAL-SP125: Paul Callens, Underwater AUV localization

DISAL-SP124: Darko Lukic, Underwater Acoustic Communication

DISAL-SP119: Fabian Schulz, Cooperative Localization for a Swarm of AUVs

DISAL-SP114: Mehdi Nejjar, Framework for Underwater Positioning with Acoustic Beacons

DISAL-SP105: Jean-François Burnier, Sigma-Point Kalman Filtering for State Estimation

DISAL-SP97: Ahmed Saadallah, Graphical Interface for Simultaneous Interaction with Multiple Robots

DISAL-SU26: Ahmed Saadallah, Framework for acoustic localization for AUVs

DISAL-SP93: Alberto Arrighi, Formation Control of Autonomous Boats

DISAL-IP30: Anwar Quraishi, Robust Position Estimation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles




A Flexible Navigation Support System for a Team of Underwater Robots

A. A. Quraishi; A. Bahr; F. S. Schill; A. Martinoli 

2019-08-22. IEEE International Symposium on Multi-Robot and Multi-Agent Systems, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, Audust 22-23, 2019.

Easily Deployable Underwater Acoustic Navigation System for Multi-Vehicle Environmental Sampling Applications

A. A. Quraishi; A. Bahr; F. S. Schill; A. Martinoli 

2019-05-20. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Montreal, Canada, May 20-24, 2019.

Vertex: A New Distributed Underwater Robotic Platform for Environmental Monitoring

F. S. Schill; A. Bahr; A. Martinoli 

2019. 13th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), London, ENGLAND, November 7-9, 2016. p. 679-693. DOI : 10.1007/978-3-319-73008-0_47.


Autonomous Feature Tracing and Adaptive Sampling in Real-World Underwater Environments

A. A. Quraishi; A. Bahr; F. S. Schill; A. Martinoli 

2018-05-20. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Brisbane, 21-25 May 2018. p. 5699-5704.


Underwater propelling device for underwater vehicle

F. Schill; A. Bahr 

ES2733339; CN107207083; EP3218259; HK1243392; CN107207083; EP3218259; WO2016075631; US9227709.