Université Montpellier > LIRMM > Rob

Applicative projects

The recent and/or current projects of the team are :

 

Flagship project of the NUMEV Labex: Aleyin


Autonomous Systems for Karst Exploration


2016-2020

 

The Aleyin project aims at conceiving, designing and engineering an intelligent and practical robotic system (i.e. Sensors System with Controlled Mobility) to explore/inspect underwater confined environment. As generic case studies, the project focuses on karst exploration and hydraulic galleries inspections.

L’exploration de réseaux karstiques est un enjeu majeur pour la gestion de la ressource en eau potable dans notre région, comme au niveau mondiale. Le projet KARST est transdisciplinaire qui, en plus de la robotique, associe des mathématiciens, des hydrogéologues, des micro-électroniciens.. Il a été soutenue et labellisé par le Labex NUMEV, et à abouti au lancement du projet NUMEV étendard Aleyin.

As generic case studies, the project focuses on karst exploration and hydraulic galleries inspections. This is a major and urgent, issue for public authorities concerned by the prospection, protection and management of the groundwater resource in karst regions. Assessing the geometry of flow paths network in karst, which constrain the dynamics of groundwater and transport processes, is an ambitious scientific objective that requires field information, which may be difficult to acquire. Cave divers are heroic, but face physiological limitations.

The use of a robotic solution may induce a significant evolution, in its capacity to go further and deeper in the karst maze. This requires an interdisciplinary scientific journey where hydrogeologists, mathematicians, electronic and control scientists share the same objective. This transdiciplinary posture is necessary to achieve the Aleyin’s objectives. Moreover, the confined and chaotic conditions impose to keep the expert in the system’s decision loop during the exploration phase. He is indeed the best to decide on the system’s global and opportunistic objectives. This requires a communication link capable of streaming the current data acquisition, acoustic, or visual if turbidity allows. In the underwater environment, where wireless communication has very poor quality (bandwidth, latency), an umbilical cable is mandatory. Nevertheless, this cable is a heavy burden that is not admissible for the way back. Hence, the system has to be able to get rid of its cable, and return back autonomously. This question of varying autonomy is one of the exciting scientific issues on which the Aleyin project proposes to progress.

L’exploration de réseaux karstiques est un enjeu majeur pour la gestion de la ressource en eau potable dans notre région, comme au niveau mondiale. Le projet KARST est transdisciplinaire qui, en plus de la robotique, associe des mathématiciens, des hydrogéologues, des micro-électroniciens.. Il a été soutenue et labellisé par le Labex NUMEV, et à abouti au lancement du projet NUMEV étendard Aleyin.

On-the-field experiments :

  • Centering tests in the Canal du Midi (Béziers)  –  early 2016
  • 1st test in a Karst: the Chasm of Gourneyras  –  July 2016
  • 3D reconstruction test of the Durzon  –  July 2018

 


I-Site MUSE project BUBOT


Better Understanding Biodiversity changes thanks to new Observation Tools


2019-2022


Although oceans offer more than 60% of ecosystem services to humans, we still ignore most of its biodiversity and its natural resources, and one of the greatest challenges is sill to assess environmental health. Thus, the BUBOT project, through an interdisciplinary approach (marine biology, robotics, computer science and social sciences: ethnic-ecology and geography) proposes the development of new and innovative tools for marine biodiversity observation and their usage to evaluate anthropic impact on marine reef environment. This environmental assessment is coupled to social science study on human activities, especially on fishing. The BUBOT project proposes to study 3 important places of the Mozambican channel, which is the world second marine biodiversity hot spot: Mayotte, the Scattered Islands and The Mozambique coast.

The EXPLORE team is interested in submarine robotics applied to the observation of marine biology. The robot becomes a tool at the service of marine biologists, for example to characterize the habitat and quantify the biodiversity of oceans. Remotly control, with semi-autonomous functions or, in the futur, fully autonomously (AUV), the robot will have to be conceived conceptually to answer very specific needs in this context: hardware and software design, control and management of specific missions (fishes counting, tracking of turtles, observation of coral heads..). A big part will also be reliability and fault tolerance, essential in such complex, dynamic and unknown environments.

This project was preceded by a collaboration between the LIRMM, MARBEC and the CUFR of Mayotte, with the co-supervision of the PhD of Silvain Louis: A semi-autonomous robotic system for the observation of marine species. This thesis was co-funded by the I2S doctoral school (univ. of Montpellier) and the CUFR of Mayotte.

The Ulysse robot on coral reefs in the Mayotte lagoonIdentification of fishes (with deep learning technics by the ICAR team, LIRMM) in the videos scattered by the robot

On-the-field experiments:


REEA project

Robotics for Exploration of the Aquatic Environment

Funding by agglomération of Béziers (2016-2019) to developped robotics for underwater exploration.


DEDAL project

Industrial project with the Naval Group company (2018-2019)