Eleventh Coffee with EUMR

The EUMarineRobots (EUMR) project is glad to announce the eleventh “Coffee with EUMR” webinar on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 at 11:00 CET. This webinar will be hosted by the University of Bremen and will consist of two short talks presented by University of Bremen and Heriot-Watt University. The first talk titled "Piggybacking on existing research infrastructure to increase accessibility to the deep sea" will be given by Prof. Ralf Bachmayer and Pablo Gutiérrez from the University of Bremen and the second talk titled "Acoustic-Visual Enhanced SLAM (AVE-SLAM) and Extrinsic Calibration for Underwater Inspection" will be given by Shida Xu from Heriot-Watt University.

Please use the link below to join the meeting.

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

Abstract "Piggybacking on existing research infrastructure to increase accessibility to the deep sea"

Access to the deep-sea is still limited by the availability of ship time and comes at a hefty cost. Testing new concepts or developing new systems for deep-sea research is non-trivial, adding complexity to the already challenging environmental and operational constraints of doing so in the upper 500m of the water column. To address this issue have been developing a new concept that is leveraging existing, proven infrastructure to gain access for smaller, task specific systems. In this talk this concept will be presented, providing a brief overview of the MARUM research infrastructure, we are going to capitalize on. Furthermore, the system under development will be described in more details. A particular focus of the development has been on reuse and re-configurability for task specific configurations. To that end a robotics operating systems 2 (ROS2) based system architecture, leveraging some of the improved features of ROS2 over ROS in terms of communication and microcontroller implementation through microROS (https://micro.ros.org/) has been implemented. The presentation will conclude with some examples of preliminary test and deployments.

Ralf Bachmayer is Professor for Marine Environmental Technology and Deepsea Engineering as part of the Innovation Center for Deep-Sea Environmental Monitoring at MARUM – University of Bremen, Germany. His main research interests lie in the domain of marine robotics with a focus on unmanned marine systems. In particular he is interested in the design, control and networking of heterogeneous marine observation systems. Since joining the University of Bremen’s Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) and Department of Computer Science and Mathematics in 2017 he and his research group have been working on enabling a new generation of collaborative AUVs for minimally invasive deep-sea exploration and environmental monitoring.

Pablo Gutiérrez is a Software Engineer at the Innovation Center for Deep-Sea Environmental Monitoring at MARUM - University of Bremen, Germany. His work is focused on the development of software and hardware concepts for the control of marine systems. Currently he is working, among other projects, on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) called Manatee with focus on deep-sea exploration.

Abstract "Acoustic-Visual Enhanced SLAM (AVE-SLAM) and Extrinsic Calibration for Underwater Robotics"

In this work, we propose visual acoustic bundle adjustment which fuses a camera and a Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) in a graph SLAM framework for reliable underwater localization and mapping. A calibration algorithm is also designed to estimate extrinsic parameters between a camera and a DVL using features detected in scenes. Our method can achieve better robustness and localization accuracy than pure visual SLAM, especially in visually challenging underwater scenarios.

Shida Xu  is a PhD student at the Institute of Sensors, Signals, and Systems, Heriot-Watt University. Now I am supervised by Dr. Sen Wang and Prof. Yvan Petillot. I received my Master of Advanced Computer Science from the University of Sheffield. My research interests focus on underwater Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) and multi-sensor fusion. And I am a member of Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub working on autonomous underwater inspection.