A swarm of aquatic robots can be the solution to develop a series of necessary tasks along the immense Portuguese coast. And if at first glance it may seem like a costly and highly complex initiative, let us say that anticipating cost-benefit may actually be more advantageous and its complexity seen by experts can be relativized.
The idea, which is very challenging because of the complex environment in which it is developed and the operational support requirements it entails, is precisely to minimize the costs of research tasks for locating aquaculture zones, environmental monitoring, marine life localization, bridge inspection, patrolling maritime borders, among others. The use of easily replaceable robots has enormous potential for practical application and error/failure reduction, and this collective robotics technology allows decentralized control once the group is self-oriented to act together - when some element deviates from the default path it is automatically reoriented by the remaining robots.
With this research 'Aquatic Drones: robotic platform that develops tasks in the marine environment (CORATAM)', the research team of ISCTE-IUL Institute of Telecommunications seeks to explore a new approach to the application of this technology, and to later disseminate the hardware and software components so that other researchers and those interested in the field can implement this idea.
Miguel Duarte, who recently received the first prize in the seventh edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge, is one of the team members of this innovative project where the candidate projects were divided into masters and doctoral degrees in different areas such as science, health, communication, technology and robotics. In the Doctoral category, Miguel Duarte won the first place precisely with the development of this robotic platform capable of developing complex tasks in the marine environment.
More information about the CORATAM project here.