Current multi-AUV systems are far from being capable of fully autonomously taking over real-life complex situation-awareness operations. As such operations require advanced reasoning and decision-making abilities the current designs have to heavily rely on human operators. The involvement of humans, however, is by no means a guarantee of performance; humans can easily be overwhelmed by the information overload, fatigue can act detrimentally to their performance, properly coordinating vehicles actions is hard, and continuous operation is all but impossible. Within NOPTILUS we take the view that an effective fully-autonomous multi-AUV concept/system, is capable of overcoming these shortcomings, by replacing human-operated operations by a fully autonomous one. To successfully attain such an objective, significant advances are required, involving cooperative & cognitive-based communications and sonars (low level), Gaussian Process-based estimation as well as perceptual sensory-motor and learning motion control (medium level), and learning/cognitive-based situation understanding and motion strategies (high level).

NOPTILUS’ project main objective was to determine – fully-autonomously & in real-time – the AUVs’ trajectories/behavior that maximize situation awareness subject to the severe communication,  sensing & environmental limitations. If you need additional information you can check the project’s web site.

NOPTILUS was funded by European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme ICT-FP7,  Cognitive Systems and Robotics programme 

Related Publications

  1. A. C. Kapoutsis S. A. Chatzichristofis, L. Doitsidis, J. Borges de Sousa, J. 
Pinto, J. Braga, E. B. Kosmatopoulos, “Real-time Adaptive Multi-Robot Exploration with application to Underwater Map Construction,” Autonomous Robots, in press.
  2. A. Ch. Kapoutsis, S. A. Chatzichristofis, L. Doitsidis, J. Borges de Sousa and E. B. Kosmatopoulos, “Autonomous navigation of teams of unmanned aerial or underwater vehicles for exploration of unknown static & dynamic environments,” in proceedings of the 21st Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, (MED’13), pp. 1181-1188, Platanias-Chania, Crete – Greece, June 25 – 28, 2013.
  3. S. A. Chatzicristofis, A. Ch. Kapoutsis, E. B. Kosmatopoulos, L. Doitsidis, D. Rovas and Joao Borges de Sousa, “The NOPTILUS project: Autonomous Multi-AUV navigation for exploration of unknown environments,” IFAC Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles (NGCUV’2012), Porto, Portugal, April 10 – April 12, 2012.