June 2023 OES Beacon

Chapter News (June 2023)

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Figure 1 – A screenshot from the opening plenary session

Italy Chapter

2022 IEEE OES Mediterranean PhD School

Reported byMaurizio Migliaccio, IEEE OES Italy Chapter Chairman, Riccardo Costanzi, IEEE OES Italy Chapter vice-Chairman, Giovanna Inserra, IEEE OES Italy Secretary

At the beginning of 2022 the IEEE OES Italy Chapter promoted the IEEE OES MEDITERRANEAN PhD SCHOOL. The idea to organize such an event was mainly due to a twofold reason: to promote an event a) targeted to young researchers/students and b) in which the two main technical branches (namely robotics and remote sensing) of the Chapter had the chance to meet and interact at least for some part of the time.

Figure 2 – Programme of the school.

The first idea was to organise the event in presence in Napoli, Italy. But due to the uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need to contact the speakers and to define all the other organising aspects well in advance in order to organise it online.

The school received the support by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) and the event took place on the 12th and 13th of December with a rich programme including an opening plenary session followed by two parallel sessions respectively focused on Ocean Robotics and Ocean Remote Sensing.

In Figure 1, a screenshot from the opening plenary session that saw an introduction respectively to the topics of Ocean Remote Sensing provided by Prof. Maurizio Migliaccio and Ocean Robotics by Prof. Gianluca Antonelli.

Figure 3 – Awarding moment of Paolo Augusto di Lillo (Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale).
The other awarded young researchers are:
Matteo Alparane – Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope
Leonardo Zacchini – Università degli Studi di Firenze
Alessio di Simone – Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”
Filippo Campagnaro – Università degli Studi di Padova

The high profile of the speakers (programme in Figure 2) that kindly accepted to contribute to the PhD school programme worked as an attractor for many attendees participating from all over the world thanks to the virtual access. Despite the school was at its first edition, 46 participants registered and 40 attended the event with a balance between the two thematic sessions. All students had the chance to take a final exam after about one month to have a formal certificate.

The programme of the school ended with a final plenary moment that, before the final remarks, included the award ceremony (Figure 3) for the IEEE OES Italy Chapter Award for young Researchers and PhD Students 2022. The call to participate in the initiative was launched in Spring 2022 and addressed the Italian researchers of maximum 35 years that, despite their young age, significantly contributed to the state of the art in the field of Oceanic Engineering. The initiative received the support of the IEEE Italy Section. The winners received a certificate and a scientific book.

Figure.4: The covers of the two books that were awarded.

The book for three young researchers was “Marine Robotics and Applications.” Editors were: Luc Jaulin, Andrea Caiti, Marc Carreras, Vincent Creuze, Frédéric Plumet, Benoît Zerr, Annick Billon-Coat, Springer and for the other two was “Physical Principles of Remote Sensing” by W.G. Rees, Cambridge University Press.

The Chapter thanks all participants and the IEEE OES for making true such an idea. The young researcher award will be proposed also in 2023 while PhD School is meant to be organized again in 2024.

Malaysia Chapter 

Technical Talk on Digital Twin Ocean and ChatGPT using Omniverse Platform

Reported by Zool Hilmi Ismail, Chair of IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter

The webinar, entitled “Technical Talk of Digital Twin Ocean and ChatGPT using Omniverse Platform” was presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zool Hilmi Ismail, from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 11, 2023, at 2.00 MYT.

Figure 1. Screenshot of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zool Hilmi Ismail webinar

Dr. Zool Hilmi, a senior IEEE member, is presently serving as a deputy director at the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics located at the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. He is a registered professional engineer under the Board of Engineers Malaysia and a member of various professional organizations including the Society for Underwater Technology, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Oceanic Engineering Society, and the Asian Control Association. Furthermore, he is also a registered chartered marine engineer of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. Dr. Zool Hilmi’s research is focused on Digital-Twin, Model-Predictive Control, Path-Planning, and Task Allocation based on Deep-Reinforcement Learning.

Reception after the forum

The first phase of the webinar focused on the introduction of digital twin ocean and omniverse platform. Some demonstrations are carried out to visualize the materials and water animation method without Action Graph in Omniverse Create. It is including Water Ocean Blue Reef and Water Opaque. The omniverse can provide a powerful tool for visualizing and communicating the data and insights generated by the digital twin ocean. By creating interactive and immersive simulations, researchers and students can better understand the complexity of ocean ecosystems and the impact of human activities on them. The digital twin ocean can offer high-fidelity data and models for simulating ocean ecosystems and their response to environmental changes. By combining the capabilities of the omniverse and digital twin ocean, new opportunities for innovation and discovery may emerge. For example, researchers could use the omniverse to simulate and test new technologies for ocean monitoring and management, using data from the digital twin ocean to validate their effectiveness.

Welcome address (L) and Closing address (R) by Forum steering committee Co-Chairs (Prof Michida and Prof. Maki, U-Tokyo)

The second phase covers on how generative AI can be utilized by developers and technical artists to develop custom tools for populating realistic environments with high-fidelity objects, while allowing end-users to create complex scenes quickly by simply inputting text-based prompts. The extension utilized in the experiment is based on Universal Scene Description (USD) SimReady assets, which are physically accurate 3D objects including robotic platform that can be employed in any simulation and mimic their real-world behaviour. Dr. Zool Hilmi also shows a simple demonstration on how the end-users can leverage the assisted tool to automatically generate and place objects, which reduces the time and effort required to create complex environments for robotic application. Meantime, Isaac Sim has been presented with the robust connector functionalities integrated within Omniverse, enabling the platform to offer native backing for frequently employed system design formats. Isaac Sim’s Unified Robot Description Format (URDF) importer has been subjected to rigorous testing on various robot models, and the software also allows CAD files to be seamlessly imported from both specific files, with only minimal post-processing required.

They were attended by approximately 25 engineering students at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with a good level of interaction and several questions asked by the audience.

From the talk “Pressure Drop Voyage”

Japan Chapter 

The 9th Underwater Technology ForumZERO HYBRID

The attendees and speakers have returned to the venue! 

Reported by Harumi Sugimatsu

The 9th  Underwater Technology Forum・ZERO was held from 13:00-17:00 on 21 April 2023, on the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo in Komaba Research Campus (https://seasat.iis.u-tokyo.ac.jp/UTforum/).  This time, we had 116 in person attendees and more than 230 online attendees who tend to live far from Tokyo.  Among the speakers, only one from UK by Blair Thornton was online.  Advantage of hybrid style is efficiently utilized.

From the talk “An AUV lonely journey” (above), and Q&A (below)

In addition, after three years from 2019, we were able to hold the reception after the forum, although participants were limited.  The attendees and speakers have returned to the venue!

The topics of the forum are as below;

  1. Pressure Drop Voyage
  2. Origin of life -Seafloor Hydrothermal liquid/Supercritical CO2 Hypothesis
  3. A new sea surface platform -Application of UAV to Seafloor Geodetic Observation
  4. Measurement of blue carbon by an ASV
  5. Advanced Seafloor observation system for earthquakes using optical fiber sensing technology
  6. Mbps-class high-speed underwater acoustic communication technology for shallow waters ROV operation
  7. Introduction on kW-class position free wireless power supply for AUV, and underwater radio communication technology using Wavelet-OFDM
  8. An AUV lonely journey: mapping of multiple decommissioned petroleum sites over 1,000km in 22 days

The next Forum (hybrid) will be held on 14 October 2022, at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, in Kashiwa Campus.  If you are interested to attend or give a talk, please contact us (https://seasat.iis.u-tokyo.ac.jp/UTforum/).