INESC TEC develops technology for the maritime sector
INESC TEC signs two protocols, one with CIMAR-LA and another with IPMA. The most important areas in the project are aquaculture, robotics, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.
On 11th May INESC TEC will sign a protocol to develop new technology in aquaculture and strengthen the nation’s capacity to export technology in this sector. The protocols will be signed during the Sea Fair (Fórum do Mar). During this event, the institute will present autonomous underwater vehicles for search and rescue as part of project ICARUS.
The first protocol will be signed with the new Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Environment (IPMA) and aims to explore aquaculture in the sea. The second protocol focuses on aquaculture on dry land and is with the Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIMAR-LA).
The two protocols are based on two main principals:
- To build autonomous robots to analyse water quality and monitor the state of the environment and the loss of species due to aquaculture.
- To bring together robotics and intelligent systems and marine biotechnology to develop autonomous devices to make aquaculture cost-effective in coastal areas.
The main purpose of the agreements is to unite competencies and complementary synergies to strengthen the nation’s capacity to produce and export robotic marine technology.
The project will begin in June this year and the first results should be seen in 2013. According to the press release, the Portuguese coastline has unique potential for the development of aquaculture.
Recent data shows that 72% of the fish stocks in Portugal are over-fished and Portugal is classified as being in 11th place for the countries that will have to resort to waters outside of Europe (Source: Fish Dependence 2012 Update).
Robotics for maritime security
INESC TEC will present the results of its work in maritime security: project ICARUS that aims to develop search and rescue marine robots that can work in adverse conditions and in low visibility. Consequently, the institute hopes to strengthen its position in this sector.
The robots are designed to support rescue teams in disasters at sea with passenger cruise liners, for example. “The big advantage of these search and rescue robots is that they can continue working at night and in adverse conditions, such as in low visibility”, states the press release. The first robots should be concluded by 2013 and they are being developed as part of project ICARUS.
In addition to ICARUS Project scenarios, the workshop will see debates on issues, such as accidents with small fishing or pleasure boats or man-over-board scenarios in large-scale ships.
Robvigil at the Sea Fair
For the first time, INESC TEC’s RobVigil will be on display at the Sea Fair. It has 360ºvision and can detect gases, fires, smoke and floods. It can communicate in teleconferences or videoconferences with other robots and humans.
It can be remote-controlled in real time and this “intelligent” robot was designed to facilitate human tasks, such as security. According to INESC TEC, the robot can follow programmed patrol routes, it can operate in any light conditions and it can identify car registration plates.
The first units will be available on the market this year, according to INESC TEC. The surveillance robot was developed by a consortium with a budget of 1.2 million Euros.
- INESC TEC (INESC Technology and Science).
- FEUP (Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto);
- Clever House – Sistemas Inteligentes, Lda. (distributors in Portugal for the world leaders in civil and security robotics);
- Strong Segurança, S.A. (a security company that develops electronic security solutions );
- Sinepower Consultoria (electronic engineering projects).