Autonomous and Collaborative Offshore Robotics (aCOLOR)
Tampere University of Technology and TAMK, Kari T. Koskinen
aColor achieves first year goals of the project with the Unmanned Surface Vessel as a main topic.
Series of public demonstrations have been made in the Tampere area to prove necessary capabilities of autonomous systems. These capabilities include navigation, long-range communications and machine learning algorithms for water segmentation in camera array data. In all of these demonstrations, the aColor Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) was the central subsystem of the test. In addition to that, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) were also included to show the future and the goal of the aColor project.
One word can be used to summarize the year 2018, the first year of the project aColor: Success. The first year already included three public demonstrations, the first of which only a couple of months after the beginning. Demonstrations, which were done in Tampere on the lake Pyhäjärvi, raised the name of aColor in headlines and even frontpage multiple times in the local media. Besides of public demonstrations: European Robotics Forum 2018, aColor test week in July 2018 and Tampere Smart City week, countless hours of field testing were made during the summer.
European Robotics Forum 2018 (March 2018)
The first public demo was presented in the Autonomous maritime systems session (organized by aColor project team) at the European Robotics Forum 2018 in Tampere Talo. A general presentation of the project was given during the session. The continuously unmanned ships (CUS) demonstration in icing arctic conditions was organized after the presentation. This demonstration included remote monitoring and operation of CUS located in an ice-free part of Lake Pyhäjärvi (Tampere, Finland). In addition to that, remote operation and monitoring with FLIR Thermal imaging and Furuno maritime radar imaging streaming over 4G connection was shown.
The video of the demonstration performed in this session can be found in the following Aamulehti article (Finnish):
Autonomous boat route between Laukontori and Viikinsaari (July 2018)
The autonomous boat route between Laukontori and Viikinsaari was the first large-scale demonstration with all aColor team members involved. The Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial systems (MEI), with the collaboration of Alamarin-Jet Oy, developed the control algorithms for an autonomous waypoint navigation for the twin jet propulsion surface vessel. The laboratory of Electronics and Communications Technologies (ELT) established a hi-speed wireless connection. This connection uses the actively controlled directional antenna, allowing long-range communication between the Ground Control Station (GCS) and the USV.
Furthermore, Laboratory of Signal processing developed a machine learning algorithm to focus the detection for the water area. This algorithm will be useful in further obstacle avoidance capabilities. Last but not least, Tampere University of Applied Science (TAMK) team made a stream of all the demonstration using a drone.
The video presentation of the demonstration can be found in the aColor Project Youtube channel:
Tampere Smart city week (October 2018)
The last public demonstration of the year was in early autumn during Aamulehti tuo robotit Ratinaan event at Ratina Kauppakeskus. AUV and USV located in Ratina harbor area were remotely operated from the GCS located onshore near Ratina Kauppakeskus. In addition to that, live streaming from the thermal camera, marine radar and day camera located at the USV and day camera in the AUV was broadcasted over the internet during the full demonstration. Also, an indoor aerobatic display with rotary wing AUV was given in Ratina Kauppakeskus.
The article of the Aamulehti tuo robotit Ratinaan event can be found in the following link (Finnish):
Jose Villa Escusol, Mechatronics Research Group (MRG), Tampere University (TUNI)
Phone: +358 50 448 1926, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org