subCULTron
SUBMARINE CULTURES PERFORM LONG-TERM ROBOTIC EXPLORATION OF UNCONVENTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL NICHES

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Happy holidays from subCULTron

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The subCULTron project is in its 21st month and we are past our first review in the month 18 with very constructive comments and appreciation from our reviewers. 120 aMussels which we had designed and redesigned over the past year and half are in the mass production stage. We will meet in Zagreb again in January to stress test the aMussels in January at Zagreb and we also hope to test to robots in Venice in the summer. As the aMussels slowly reaches maturity, the development focus is slowly shifting to the second generation “Jeff”, namely, “the aFish”. aFish will be agile with its precise movements, high sensory capabilities and will act as the caretaker of the whole group of robots. We are perfecting the final designs before it can be materialized and we are eagerly waiting to see them zoom through the waters of Venice ! We can’t show you the designs of aFish yet but we can point you to some cool Jeff videos from CoCoRo and leave the rest to your imagination:

Testing the first ten aMussels!

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The subCULTron team had yet another very successful workshop and general assembly at Zagreb in the first week of September 2016. This workshop was dedicated to reliability testing of our first batch of ten aMussels. The workshop, which was hosted by University of Zagreb – Faculty of Electrical Engineering, was held at the prestigious Brodarski Institute, Zagreb. The main focus of our workshop was to prepare for our upcoming review, plan our way ahead and also to identify weaknesses. Various tests such as autonomous docking, diving, interacting with Humans via SMS, twitter etc were tested with very encouraging results. We are now looking forward to our upcoming review!

Apart from encouraging results, it was a great experience to be working under the huge wooden dome of the Brodarski Institute which was founded in 1948 for maritime research. The grand architecture of the wooden dome, old maritime machinery, lush green compound was nothing short of a feast to our eyes. Here is a collage of pictures from the entire week.

BeFunky Collage

“Throw in” workshop – Italy 2016

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Workshops can be intense but they are also crucial and productive. Its the time when experts working on different modules of the robots comes together and test the robot as a whole. Team subCULTron had its most recent workshop at SSSA, Pontedera and a general assembly (GA) of all members at the CNR-ISMAR office at Arsenale, Venice. The aim of the “Throw in” workshop was obviously to throw in three fully functional aMussels along with docking mechanism of aPads at Arsenale, Venice. The workshop was a success and currently our team has already started redesign phase where we will make the hardware better for the upcoming review. For a quick glance of our two intense weeks, here is a collage.

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“Throw in” workshop at a glance

 

boredomresearch and subCULTron

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On March 17th to 18th in Amsterdam the FEAT-Workshop took place. In the wonderful environment of the Waag at the Nieuwmarkt, artists and scientists met to present their projects. The workshop was hosted by the Waag-Society. Goal of the workshop was to find seven adequate pairings of scientific projects and artists, that will be supported by the Waag Society. These efforts will enable the artists to join the scientific projects to draw inspiration from the scientific work, and to bring artistic points of view into the scientific work flow. The project subCUlTron is proud to announce, that we were chosen as partners of the fabulous boredomresearch-team (http://www.boredomresearch.net/). Now we are looking forward to the visit of Vicky Isley and Paul Smith in our lab!IMG_20160317_092532

RTOS workshop in Zagreb

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RTOS workshop was held at Zagreb University in the week of 8 – 12 February 2016 with the main task of enabling the RTOS architecture on MUs that are the central part of aMussels. During this week of intense coding, the teams from University of Zagreb, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University of Graz and CYBERTRONICA (via Skype) successfully developed RTOS drivers for GPS & GSM (via UART), IMU (via SPI), IMU (viy I2C) and motor (PWM). In the attached image, you can see the first SMS ever sent by an aMussel! Who would have guessed that this particular one is Adele fan?

1st Workshop in Pontedera

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This week (14th to 18th of September 2015) the “First aMussel preparation workshop” took place in Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) in Pontedera (SSSA), Italy. Members of the subCULTron consortium from all over Europe gathered to test novel algorithms on the test platform for future aMussels. Different scenarios regarding energy distribution within a swarm of aMussels by an aFish were tested. Further questions investigated at this workshop where: “How to share information between groups of aMussels via aFish”, and “How can aFish with different tasks can influence a swarm of aMussels?”. Due to the very positive and productive climate between all colleges the workshop was a big success. Besides the gathering of many new insights into the concept of interacting underwater robot swarms, a lot of new ideas  for follow up workshops where developed. (Foto shows a colleague while adapting code “on the fly”).

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subCULTron was kicked off!

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subCULTron was kicked off on 26th of May 2015: A group of 14 scientists (see photo)
from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, and France
was meeting in Pontedera, Italy, for making the first steps to create (again) the largest autonomous underwater swarm!
consortium
In this EU funded project (H2020, FET Proactive) the scientists are aiming to generate an artificial society of diverse underwater vehicles based on inspirations from nature. The robotic society will consist of robotic mussels (aMussels), robotic fish-like agents (aFish), and a swarm of lilypad-inspired platforms (aPads). They will interact, communicate, self-regulate, learn, explore and stay for long-time autonomously in operation, for example in the Laguna of Venice. The meeting was 2 days long, inspiring, thought-provoking and productive, even some recent hardware from the CoCoRo project was us used to demonstrate the swarm concept to new partners in the consortium. The meeting and many presentations (see photo) and heads were burning!
meeting