Thursday, June 27, 2019
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Centre for Robotics & Intelligent Systems

The Center for Robotics & Intelligent Systems in the University of Limerick (UL) was established by (Director) Prof. Daniel Toal. It is the only research centre focused on the application and development of marine robotics within the island of Ireland. This research centre consists of a mix of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from various disciplines including electronic, computer, mechanical and aeronautical engineering backgrounds, and is an important part of MaREI -Centre for Marine & Renewable Energy. The research centre brings together a highly capable engineering group focused on developing practical and industrial relevant marine technologies. From marine robotics to navigation, sensor development, emergency response planning, remote operated vehicle (ROV) and unmanned aerial (UAS) technologies, CRIS is actively involved in developing a diverse range of practical technologies in national funded, European funded and industry collaborative projects. The core research activities of the research centre are listed below:

  1. Remotely operated vehicles (ROV Étaín, ROV Éad & ROV LATIS) smart systems with fault tolerant control, auto tuning, one-click auto survey, augmented reality visualisations (transparent ocean piloting environment).

  2. Remote & auto flight control of tethered parafoil kites for airborne wind energy & aerial sensor/comms platforms.

  3. UAV systems for marine environments, VTOL (vertical take off and landing) and Hydbrid (VTOL and winged). 

  4. Sensor telemetry streaming from fixed wing aircraft.

  5. Emergency response exercise planning & coordination. UAVs deployed in segregated airspace over three day exercise. Key partners: Irish Aviation Authority, Irish Naval Service, Irish Coast Guard, Commissioner of Irish Lights.

  6. Long Range High Bandwidth comms- remote presence, live interaction with distant robotic vehicles independent of existing infrastructure.

  7. Ocean sensing platforms with daughter mini ROVs- for persistent remote presence offshore with global satellite comms (controlled & monitored anywhere in world independent of existing infrastructure).

Over the last ten years the CRIS research centre has developed OceanRINGS - a suite of smart technologies for subsea operations, designed to be integrated with any ROV – support vessel combination. It includes advanced control solutions for the full range of ROVs – from mini ROVs used for remote monitoring & inspection to full-size work-class ROVs. ROV Étaín, LATIS and Éad are each controlled within the OceanRINGS piloting and control environment. System validation and technology demonstration has been performed over the last ten years through a series of test trials with different support vessels off the north, south and west coast of Ireland, in Donegal, Bantry Bay, Cork Harbour, Galway Bay, Shannon Estuary and La Spezia, Italy.