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INESC TEC researchers develop innovative hybrid imaging system for underwater robotic solutions

INESC TEC researchers developed an innovative hybrid imaging system, capable of improving the three-dimensional perception of underwater robotic solutions. MARESye 2.0 is one of the projects supported within the scope of INESC TEC’s internal funding programme, the Internal Seed Projects.  

30th September 2021

More specifically, the prototype enables the extraction of precise and textured 3D information in harsh environments, where there is no light and the physical phenomena caused by light reflection affects the quality of the data obtained.

This version supports pressures at a depth of 300 meters and collects three-dimensional information with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); it will be used to improve autonomous robotic solutions, namely in terms of monitoring, intervention, and maintenance of underwater structures.

“This version was designed with a focus on robustness, in order to develop a compact technology ready to enter the industrial sector. It is an imaging system that captures practical 2D and 3D information, capable of being integrated into underwater vehicles, e.g., Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) or Remotely-Operated Vehicles (ROV)”, said Andry Maykol Pinto, head researcher of the project at INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS).

“This technology was developed for business entities that aim to test and incorporate the capabilities provided by the MARESye technology in their products, thus improving the three-dimensional perception during underwater inspection operations”, added Andry Pinto.

The MARESye technology can be applied, for instance, in the maintenance activities of offshore resource exploration infrastructures, thus reducing the time needed to carry out operations, with a direct impact on the maintenance costs of said resources.

With an international patent application submitted, the project lasted 12 months; CRAS researchers Andry Maykol Pinto, Pedro Nuno Leite and Aníbal Matos, as well as the other elements of the Robotics-based O&M team, were part of the activities.

The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with UP-FEUP and FCT.