National Technical University of Athens
The National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), founded in 1836, the oldest and largest engineering institution in Greece, participates with the Control Systems Lab (CSL) of the Mechanical Engineering Dept. CSL is involved in many research areas such as Underwater Robotics, Aerial Vehicles, Neurorobotics, Multiagent Systems and Mobile Robots. The CSL Group is internationally recognized for R&D in robotics and automation technologies, with international contacts in industry, government and the EU. NTUA-CSL contacts in academia, industry, government, the EU and the US have led, since year 2000, to a total of 35 RTD projects in the areas of:
(a) Multi-Robot Heterogeneous teams: cooperation, sensor based motion planning and control of multi-Robotic Systems: Manipulators & Vehicles (Mobile, Underwater and Aerial)
(b) Distributed embedded control systems and architectures, and
(c) Design - modeling & control of (micro-, bio-) mechatronic systems.
The research area of CSL is addressed to the issue of semi-autonomous ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) navigation and control. Underwater vehicles operate in complex and uncertain environments partially due to the highly nonlinear hydrodynamics and external disturbances (waves, currents and cable effects). Thus, the development of feedback control schemes, accompanied with online estimation algorithms of the dynamic environment is required for efficient and reliable performance in real-time applications.
Current research focuses on AUV’s and how to increase the autonomy of such vehicles so they can operate without human intervention for extended periods of time (48+ hours). Issues related to Sensor Fusion, Localization, Target Tracking in Image Space and Visual Servoing Control Schemes for nonholonomic and holonomic vehicles, are also considered. Real world applications could involve ship hull inspection, waterjet cleaning, seabed mapping, navigation in an unknown environment and underwater manipulation.
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