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About

About

Hi!

I'm a senior researcher at Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) at INESC TEC.

I have received a MS.c. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) in 2005, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of FEUP, Portugal, in 2014.

I'm being involved in several R&D projects for the last 7 years (related with mobile robotic, intelligent systems and autonomous platforms) as well as in some partnerhips with the industry. Moreover, I'm the principal author of several articles in top-ranked journals of robotics and computer vision.

Currently, my research interests include artificial intelligence, robotics, visual motion perception, motion analysis, optical flow, unsupervised segmentation, 3D reconstructions and underwater imaging.

Interest
Topics
Details

Details

010
Publications

2022

Application of a Design for Excellence Methodology for a Wireless Charger Housing in Underwater Environments

Authors
Pereira, PNDAD; Campilho, RDSG; Pinto, AMG;

Publication
MACHINES

Abstract
A major effort is put into the production of green energy as a countermeasure to climatic changes and sustainability. Thus, the energy industry is currently betting on offshore wind energy, using wind turbines with fixed and floating platforms. This technology can benefit greatly from interventive autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to assist in the maintenance and control of underwater structures. A wireless charger system can extend the time the AUV remains underwater, by allowing it to charge its batteries through a docking station. The present work details the development process of a housing component for a wireless charging system to be implemented in an AUV, addressed as wireless charger housing (WCH), from the concept stage to the final physical verification and operation stage. The wireless charger system prepared in this research aims to improve the longevity of the vehicle mission, without having to return to the surface, by enabling battery charging at a docking station. This product was designed following a design for excellence (DfX) and modular design philosophy, implementing visual scorecards to measure the success of certain design aspects. For an adequate choice of materials, the Ashby method was implemented. The structural performance of the prototypes was validated via a linear static finite element analysis (FEA). These prototypes were further physically verified in a hyperbaric chamber. Results showed that the application of FEA, together with well-defined design goals, enable the WCH optimisation while ensuring up to 75% power efficiency. This methodology produced a system capable of transmitting energy for underwater robotic applications.

2022

Modular Multi-Domain Aware Autonomous Surface Vehicle for Inspection

Authors
Campos, DF; Matos, A; Pinto, AM;

Publication
IEEE ACCESS

Abstract

2022

A Practical Survey on Visual Odometry for Autonomous Driving in Challenging Scenarios and Conditions

Authors
Agostinho, LR; Ricardo, NM; Pereira, MI; Hiolle, A; Pinto, AM;

Publication
IEEE ACCESS

Abstract
The expansion of autonomous driving operations requires the research and development of accurate and reliable self-localization approaches. These include visual odometry methods, in which accuracy is potentially superior to GNSS-based techniques while also working in signal-denied areas. This paper presents an in-depth review of state-of-the-art visual and point cloud odometry methods, along with a direct performance comparison of some of these techniques in the autonomous driving context. The evaluated methods include camera, LiDAR, and multi-modal approaches, featuring knowledge and learning-based algorithms, which are compared from a common perspective. This set is subject to a series of tests on road driving public datasets, from which the performance of these techniques is benchmarked and quantitatively measured. Furthermore, we closely discuss their effectiveness against challenging conditions such as pronounced lighting variations, open spaces, and the presence of dynamic objects in the scene. The research demonstrates increased accuracy in point cloud-based methods by surpassing visual techniques by roughly 33.14% in trajectory error. This survey also identifies a performance stagnation in state-of-the-art methodologies, especially in complex conditions. We also examine how multi-modal architectures can circumvent individual sensor limitations. This aligns with the benchmarking results, where the multi-modal algorithms exhibit greater consistency across all scenarios, outperforming the best LiDAR method (CT-ICP) by 5.68% in translational drift. Additionally, we address how current AI advances constitute a way to overcome the current development plateau.

2022

Multiple Vessel Detection in Harsh Maritime Environments

Authors
Duarte, DF; Pereira, MI; Pinto, AM;

Publication
MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY JOURNAL

Abstract
Recently, research concerning the navigation of autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) has been increasing. However, a large-scale implementation of these vessels is still held back by several challenges such as multi-object tracking. Attaining accurate object detection plays a big role in achieving successful tracking. This article presents the development of a detection model with an image-based Con-volutional Neural Network trained through transfer learning, a deep learning tech-nique. To train, test, and validate the detector module, data were collected with the SENSE ASV by sailing through two nearby ports, Leixoes and Viana do Castelo, and recording video frames through its on-board cameras, along with a Light De-tection And Ranging, GPS, and Inertial Measurement Unit data. Images were ex-tracted from the collected data, composing a manually annotated dataset with nine classes of different vessels, along with data from other open-source maritime datasets. The developed model achieved a class mAP@[.5 .95] (mean average precision) of 89.5% and a clear improvement in boat detection compared to a multi-purposed state-of-the-art detector, YOLO-v4, with a 22.9% and 44.3% increase in the mAP with an Intersection over Union threshold of 50% and the mAP@[.5 .95], respectively. It was integrated in a detection and tracking system, being able to continuously detect nearby vessels and provide sufficient informa-tion for simple navigation tasks.

2022

Multi-criteria metric to evaluate motion planners for underwater intervention

Authors
Silva, R; Matos, A; Pinto, AM;

Publication
AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS

Abstract
Underwater autonomous manipulation is the capability of a mobile robot to perform intervention tasks that require physical contact with unstructured environments without continuous human supervision. Being difficult to assess the behaviour of existing motion planner algorithms, this research proposes a new planner evaluation metric to identify well-behaved planners for specialized tasks of inspection and monitoring of man-made underwater structures. This metric is named NEMU and combines three different performance indicators: effectiveness, safety and adaptability. NEMU deals with the randomization of sampling-based motion planners. Moreover, this article presents a benchmark of multiple planners applied to a 6 DoF manipulator operating underwater. Results conducted in real scenarios show that different planners are better suited for different tasks. Experiments demonstrate that the NEMU metric can be used to distinguish the performance of planners for particular movement conditions. Moreover, it identifies the most promising planner for collision-free motion planning, being a valuable contribution for the inspection of maritime structures, as well as for the manipulation procedures of autonomous underwater vehicles during close range operations.

Supervised
thesis

2021

Novos processos de gestão logística na indústria de equipamentos eletrónicos

Author
Luís Simões Neves

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Sistema inteligente de carregamento sem fios para robôs móveis marítimos

Author
Andreia da Rocha Seabra

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Underwater Tri-dimensional Scene Understanding using an Eye-in-Hand Perception System

Author
Pedro Nuno Barbosa Leite

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Distributed Perception for Landing and Takeoff of UAV from Moving ASV in Challenging Scenarios

Author
Rafael Marques Claro

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

A Machine Learning Approach for Predicting Docking-Based Structures

Author
Maria Inês Rodrigues Pereira

Institution
UP-FEUP