Events March 2021 OES Beacon OES Beacon

The first UNIFI–UNIPI IEEE OES Joint Student Branch Chapter workshop

Alessandro Bucci, Matteo Bresciani  

The UNIFI–UNIPI IEEE OES Joint Student Branch Chapter is born in the first months of 2020 with the aim of increasing the cooperation between the Universities of Florence and Pisa, Italy, in the field of marine robotics. The Chapter is still young, but several Ph.D. students and undergraduates from both Universities have joined the Chapter since its creation.

The main activities performed during 2020 by the Chapter members were focused on fulfilling two main goals: to share the knowledge between the young research members of the groups belonging to the Universities of Florence and Pisa, e.g., performing common at-field experimental tests, and to involve new students through technical and informative presentations about marine robotics made by the Chapter members.

Firstly, several members of the Chapter participated as speakers to the IEEE OES Global OCEANS conference and the IEEE OES AUV Workshop. These conferences have been the first occasions for most of the Chapter members to take part in the most important and famous conferences regarding marine systems and robotics. During IEEE OES Global OCEANS 2020, some Chapter members took part in the Student Poster Competition (SPC). In particular, Francesco Ruscio proposed a strategy to geo-reference underwater visual data using audio for data synchronization. The results, obtained by elaborating a dataset acquired during a Posidonia Oceanica monitoring activity in front of the Ligurian coast (Italy), are very promising and can lead to accurate geo-referenced identification of the Posidonia Oceanica and the reconstruction of the surveyed area. This work has ranked at second place in the SPC Gulf Coast Section. Furthermore, the article presented at the SPC Singapore by Matteo Bresciani addresses the problem of determining a low-cost method to identify the dynamic parameters of the surge motion model for an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle utilizing experimental data coming from an acoustic tracking system composed of passive Direction of Arrival sensors.

Here is also reported a list of the Technical Program papers presented during IEEE OES Global OCEANS 2020:

A. Bucci, A. Topini, L. Zacchini, et al., “Underwater Acoustic Image Enhancement by using Fast Super-Resolution with Generative Adversarial Network.”

E. Topini, A. Topini, A. Bucci, et al., “LSTM-based Dead Reckoning Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.”

M. Bresciani, G. Peralta, D. S. Terracciano, et al., “Comparative analysis of EKF and Particle Filter performance for an acoustic tracking system for AUVs exploiting bearing-only measurements.”

D. S. Terracciano, et al., “Ship acoustic signature measurements by using an AUV mounted vector sensor.”

M. Alibani, et al., “Real time Optimal Allocation for I-AUV with Interacting Thrusters.”

Furthermore, some papers have been presented during the 2020 IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Symposium (AUV 2020):

L. Zacchini, et al., “Receding-horizon sampling-based sensor-driven coverage planning strategy for AUV seabed inspections.”

L. Zacchini, A. Topini, et al., “Forward-Looking Sonar CNN-based Automatic Target Recognition: an experimental campaign with FeelHippo AUV.”

M. Franchi, A. Bucci, L. Zacchini, E. Topini, et al., “A Probabilistic 3D Map Representation for Forward-Looking SONAR Reconstructions.”

Following the guidelines we had proposed for the first year, the Chapter members have organized, in mid-December, an event, where each Ph.D. student of the Chapter has presented his research work performed during the last year. Thanks to the seven speeches, various areas of marine robotics and underwater systems have been touched during the workshop, ranging from navigation strategies to artificial intelligence and motion planning. Each presenter showed his research activity and shared the obtained results with the other presenters and to the participants, which were almost forty students during the whole workshop.

The event has been largely advertised to non-member students with interest in robotics themes to involve their participation and to let them know about the presence of the Chapter in their Universities. All the participants took an active part in the workshop, by asking questions and commenting on presentations.

Thanks to the received positive feedback from the attendees, we plan to repeat the workshop during 2021. We are thinking about adding some presentations from selected invited speakers to the ones made by the Chapter members, with the aim of increasing the network with IEEE and other communities of marine robotics researchers.

Program of the first UNIFI-UNIPI IEEE OES Joint Student Branch Chapter workshop.

9:30 – 9:40
9:40 – 10:00
Alessandro Bucci: Sensor fusion algorithms for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles navigation
10:00 – 10:20
Matteo Bresciani: Distributed localization and navigation of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicles swarm
10:20 – 10:40
Alberto Topini: AI for fully Autonomous Underwater Vehicles inspection and intervention tasks
10:40 – 11:00
Francesco Ruscio: Geolocation of underwater images for inspection and monitoring activities
11:00 – 11:10
11:10 – 11:30
Edoardo Topini: Smart Reconfigurable Drones for survey, inspection and intervention
11:30 – 11:50
Giovanni Peralta: Underwater navigation through the perception of the environment
11:50 – 12:10
Leonardo Zacchini: Motion planning, replanning and perception for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
12:10 – 12:30
Discussion and Questions

Screenshot with the presenters and some participants during the workshop.
Flyer of the first UNIFI-UNIPI IEEE OES Joint Student Branch Chapter workshop.