Fifth "Coffee with EUMR" webinar

The EUMarineRobots (EUMR) project is glad to announce the fifth “Coffee with EUMR” webinar on Friday, 9 April 2021 at 10:00 CET. This webinar will be hosted by Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-ID), University of Lisbon and will consist of a short talk by IST-ID and a short invited talk by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Palakkad. The first talk titled "Cooperative distributed estimation and control of multiple autonomous vehicles for range-based underwater target localization and pursuit" will be given by Nguyen Tuan Hung. The second talk is titled "Simulation-based semi-empirical comparative study of underwater vehicle platform with fixed and vectored thruster configurations" and will be given by Dr. Santhakumar Mohan.

Please use this link to join the meeting.

The abstracts of the talks and short speakers' biographies follow: 

Abstract "Cooperative distributed estimation and control of multiple autonomous vehicles for range-based underwater target localization and pursuit"

This talk discusses the problem of using single or multiple cooperative marine autonomous vehicles (trackers) to localize and pursue an unknown underwater moving target using measurement of the ranges between the vehicles and the target. We first show how this problem can be solved using a combination of model predictive control (MPC) and estimation theory, based on the computation of the Bayesian Fisher information matrix (FIM). In this context, the Bayesian FIM is used to predict range-information along admissible vehicle trajectories, while MPC aims to control the vehicles moving along optimal trajectories that maximize range-related information while meeting energy and inter-vehicle collision avoidance constraints.  For the case of multiple vehicles, we propose an efficient distributed estimation and control (DEC) strategy for the vehicles that takes into account explicitly the constraints imposed by the inter-vehicle communication network topology. To this end, a distributed extended Kalman filter (DEKF) and a distributed control strategy are developed for the vehicles to cooperatively pursue and localize the target. Using this set-up, all vehicles are guaranteed converge to a specified vicinity of the target while keeping an optimal vehicle-target relative geometry that maximizes the range information acquired to estimate the target’s state.  Simulations illustrate the performance of the systems developed.

Nguyen Tuan Hung

Nguyen Tuan Hung is currently a PhD candidate at the Institute Systems and Robotics (ISR), IST, Lisbon. His PhD work addresses theoretical and practical issues in the fields of cooperative control and estimations of multi agent systems, focusing on applications for cooperative control and estimation of multiple robots. The latter include cooperative path following of multiple autonomous vehicles, robots' trajectories synchronization, and cooperative range-based target localization and pursuit. His PhD work has been published and accepted for publication in high-quality peer reviewed journals of Control and Robotics such as IEEE TCST, RAS, IJC, and IJRNC.    

Abstract "Simulation-based semi-empirical comparative study of underwater vehicle platform with fixed and vectored thruster configurations"

In the recent past, intervention-class autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have gained the ocean/marine research community’s attention due to their multidisciplinary operational capabilities. The presentation focuses on a detailed comparative-performance study of an underwater vehicle (UV) with two different actuator configurations based on fixed-thrusters and vectored thrusters. The fixed-thruster configuration consists of eight thrusters. Four thrusters generate thrust in the horizontal plane and the remaining thrusters produce thrust in a heave direction. The vectored thruster configuration has four thrusters placed at diagonal corners of a rectangular vehicle, and four independent internal servomotors rotate these thrusters. The classification terminology in this article identifies the underwater vehicle without vectoring capability as Fixed-Thruster Underwater Vehicle (FTUV) and the one with vectoring capability as Vectored-Thruster Underwater Vehicle (VTUV). Furthermore, a nonlinear controller is designed, based on a backstepping scheme for tracking a given spatial profile in a three-dimensional space. An underwater robot’s control for a trajectory tracking problem is useful for any real-time multidisciplinary autonomous applications. The comparative simulation results are summarized to validate both the vehicle variants’ performance differences.

Dr. Santhakumar Mohan

Santhakumar Mohan got his Ph.D. (Robotics and Control) from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai (India) in 2010. From June 2010 to March 2011, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at National Institute of Technology Calicut (NITC), Kerala (India). He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon (Republic of Korea). In 2012, he joined the faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Indore. He is holding visiting faculty positions at IISc Bangalore, India, BSTU, Belgorod, Russia, KAIST, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, RWTH Aachen, Germany, and ECN, France. His active research areas include Service and Field Robots in specific, design & motion control of underwater and wheeled mobile robots, Parallel Robotic Platforms, Assistive and Rehabilitation Robots. Furthermore, he has received the outstanding young Scientist for the year 2014 from Korea Robotics Society, European Master on Advanced Robotics Plus (EMARO+) fellowship (2018-2019), Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship (2016–2017), Satellite across virtual institutes (SAVI) fellowship (2013-2014), World-class university fellowship (2011- 2012) and Brian Korean 21 (BK2) fellowship (2011). He has published more than 100 articles in various journals and conference proceedings. He has edited three books, five ongoings, and completed six sponsored projects. Currently, he is the Dean, Industry Collaboration and Sponsored Research. He is serving as a Technical Editor of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and Associate Editor of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and ASME Letters in Dynamic Systems and Control.