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Underwater exploration with autonomous vehicles.

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Exploring the depths of the Ocean is challenging for humans, but it is not an easier task for the robots and autonomous vehicles that are sent there instead of humans. In fact, only a quarter of the Ocean has been mapped. Yet, the Ocean is a natural resource that can help us understand the critical challenges faced by the Earth, such as the rise of the average global temperature, the rise in sea levels, or the decrease of biodiversity across the planet. The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) takes the challenges faced by the Earth seriously and focuses its efforts on trying to understand the Ocean, its processes, and its impact on our lives.

The NOC, operating as a charitable company limited by guarantee, provides public benefit by making the results of Ocean observations available in peer reviewed scientific journals, by fostering and leading national and international co-operation in ocean research, and even by providing independent scientific and technical advice related to Ocean sustainability. To be able to carry out research on the Ocean, the NOC needs data, and to collect data, the NOC harnesses its Marine Autonomous Robotic Systems (MARS) fleet.

The fleet is composed of uncrewed vehicles that can autonomously explore down to a depth of 6000 meters. To de-risk the development and deployment of such vehicles, MARS entity has been promoting the use of Simulation for the last 5 years. In this talk, Achille MARTIN will introduce the Simulator developed at NOC, called the NOCS Gazebo Simulator (NGS).

Achille will then explain how the Simulator is used to de-risk various aspects of autonomous vehicles, such as software, hardware and planning.

About the speaker

Achille Martin

Achille Martin is a Robotics Software Engineer at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and has been focusing on the NOC-hosted NOCS Gazebo Simulator (NGS) for the last 4 years. Achille has mainly got the idea of a Simulator at NOC off the ground by integrating the On-Board Control Software (OCS) designed for MARS autonomous vehicles with a third-party Simulator called UUV Simulator.

Achille has then been studying the behaviour of underwater autonomous vehicles meticulously, leveraging his experience at sea and his knowledge of physics, to make the NGS as reliable as possible. Achille has contributed to multiple research papers related to underwater Robotics and published in IEEE] and Ocean Engineering. Achille believes that Exploration is the key to understand more about our universe and believes that robots are best suited for the task. This why Achille has dedicated his studies, internships, and work experiences to various aspects of Robotics, such as Software, Mechanics, Physics, and Hardware. Achille also believes that cross-cultural environments are crucial to foster new ideas by promoting radically different perspectives. This is why Achille has been studying and working in different countries, such as France, Japan, and the UK.

Achille also believes that Open Source is a major movement that makes Software more trustworthy and reliable. This is why Achille enjoys, as a personal project, promoting the creation of cross-platform applications from beginners to advanced developers.

On a professional level, Achille has produced, for the public, a short video describing a typical day at work during autonomous vehicle trials in Loch Ness.

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Webinar: How to make underwater exploration with autonomous vehicles more reliable
Date and time
Monday 8 April, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

This event is sold out