Research & Development Projects
The following is a list of projects participated/ing
1. ROAD-, AIR- AND WATER- BASED FUTURE INTERNET EXPERIMENTATION (RAWIFIE)
[cordis][webpage] [Total cost: EUR 6.995.733 – H2020 call: FIRE+ initiative]
Abstract: RAWFIE (Road-, Air-, and Water- based Future Internet Experimentation) is a project funded by the European Commission (Horizon H2020 programme) under the Future Internet Research Experimentation (FIRE+) initiative that aims at providing research facilities for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The project introduces a unique platform across the space and technology by integrating numerous test beds of unmanned vehicles for research experimentation in vehicular, aerial and maritime environments. The platform will support experimenters with smart tools to conduct and monitor experiments in the domains of IoT, networking, sensing and satellite navigation. The project that is bringing together thirteen partner organizations from eight EU countries will organize two open calls to attract researchers from academia and industry, test bed operators and unmanned vehicles manufacturers.
2.AUTONOMOUS, SELF-LEARNING, OPTIMAL AND COMPLETE UNDERWATER SYSTEMS (NOPTILUS)
Abstract: Current multi-AUV systems are far from being capable of fully autonomously taking over real-life complex situation-awareness operations. As such operations require advanced reasoning and decision-making abilities the current designs have to heavily rely on human operators. The involvement of humans, however, is by no means a guarantee of performance; humans can easily be overwhelmed by the information overload, fatigue can act detrimentally to their performance, properly coordinating vehicles actions is hard, and continuous operation is all but impossible. Within NOPTILUS we take the view that an effective fully-autonomous multi-AUV concept/system, is capable of overcoming these shortcomings, by replacing human-operated operations by a fully autonomous one. To successfully attain such an objective, significant advances are required, involving cooperative & cognitive-based communications and sonars (low level), Gaussian Process-based estimation as well as perceptual sensory-motor and learning motion control (medium level), and learning/cognitive-based situation understanding and motion strategies (high level). Of paramount importance is the integration of all these advances and the demonstration of the NOPTILUS system in a realistic environment at the Port of Leixões, utilizing a team of 6 AUVs that will be operating continuously on a 24hours/7days-a-week basis. As part of this demonstration another important aspect of the NOPTILUS system – that of (near-) optimality – will be shown. Evaluation of the performance of the overall NOPTILUS system will be performed with emphasis on its robustness, dependability, adaptability and flexibility especially when it deals with completely unknown underwater environments and situations “never taught before” as well as its ability to provide with arbitrarily-close-to-the-optimal performance. NOPTILUS main objective is to determine – fully-autonomously & in real-time – the AUVs’ trajectories/behavior that maximize situation awareness subject to the severe communication, sensing & environmental limitations.
3. SYSTEM-OF-SYSTEMS THAT ACT LOCALLY FOR OPTIMIZING GLOBALLY (Local4Global)
Abstract: Today’s Technical Systems of Systems (TSoS) such as transport, traffic and energy management systems require the deployment of an expensive-to-deploy and operate sensor and communication infrastructure. Moreover, they need a very time/effort-consuming modelling, analysis and control design procedure in order to achieve an efficient performance. On the contrary, Natural Systems of Systems (NSoS) such as the human brain, animal herds (swarms), teams of interacting/cooperating humans or animals achieve a highly efficient, elegant and supreme functionality without the need of an expensive infrastructure as they primarily rely on local information between neighbouring systems and, most importantly, they do not need any modelling, analysis or control design tools to achieve such a functionality. If the powerful attributes of NSoS were possible to be transferred and embedded into TSoS, this would lead not only to more efficient TSoS operations but, most importantly, to TSoS that are significantly easier, safer and more economical to design, deploy and operate. This is actually the main objective of Local4Global: to develop, test and evaluate a new groundbreaking, generic and fully-functional methodology/system for controlling TSoS which – as in the NSoS case – optimizes the TSoS performance at the global level without the need of deployment and operation of an expensive sensor and communication infrastructure and, most importantly, without the need for the use of elaborate and time/effort consuming modelling, analysis and control design tools.
4. INTEGRATING ACTIVE, FLEXIBLE AND RESPONSIVE TERTIARY PROSUMERS INTO A SMART DISTRIBUTION GRID (INERTIA)
Abstract: INERTIA will introduce the Internet of Things/Services principles to the Distribution Grid Control and DSM Operations. It will provide an overlay network for coordination and active grid control, running on top of the existing grid and consisting of distributed and autonomous intelligent Commercial Prosumer Hubs. This way, it will address the present “structural inertia” of DG by introducing more active elements combined with the necessary control and distributed coordination mechanisms. Semantically enhanced DER (generation and consumption) will be the main constituents of the INERTIA active DG framework. DER will constitute active and flexible components carrying contextual knowledge of their local environment. DER will form dynamic clusters comprising self-organized networks of active nodes that will efficiently distribute and balance global and local intelligence. The DER self-organized overlay network will allow for seamless management and control of the active grid and the optimal exploration of single and aggregated prosumer capacity (generation and consumption) to participate in energy balancing and other DG related services. Global Operational & Technical Distrbution Grid parameters will be seamlessly and continuously translated into real-time Local DSM Strategies.
5.SWARM OF MICRO FLYING ROBOTS (sFLY)
Abstract: Autonomous micro helicopters are about to play major roles in tasks like reconnaissance for search and rescue, environment monitoring, security surveillance, inspection, law enforcement, etc. The ability to fly allows easily avoiding obstacles on the ground and to have an excellent bird’s eye view. Therefore flying robots are the logical heir of ground based mobile robots. Their navigational and hovering advantages make them the ideal platform for exploration, mapping and monitoring tasks. If they are further realized in small scale, they can also be used in narrow out- and indoor environment and they represent only a limited risk for the environment and people living in it. However, for such operations today’s systems navigating on GPS information only are not sufficient any more. Fully autonomous operation in cities or other dense environments requires the micro helicopter to fly at low altitude or indoors where GPS signals are often shadowed and to actively explore unknown environments while avoiding collisions and creating maps. This involves a number of challenges on all levels of helicopter design, perception, actuation, control, navigation and power supply that have yet to be solved. Our S&T endeavor proposed in this project will therefore focus on micro helicopter design, visual 3D mapping and navigation, low power communication including range estimation and multi-robot control under environmental constraints. It shall lead to novel micro flying robots that are:
- Inherently safe due to very low weight (< 500g) and appropriate propeller design;
- capable of vision-based fully autonomous navigation and mapping;
- capable of coordinated flight in small swarms in constrained and dense environments.
Quotation from Larry Matthies, head of the vision group an NASA/JPL: “NASA/JPL is one year behind sFly in vision-based navigation of MAVs”
6.RAPIDLY-DEPLOYABLE, SELF-TUNING, SELF-RECONFIGURABLE, NEARLY-OPTIMAL CONTROL DESIGN FOR LARGE-SCALE NONLINEAR SYSTEMS (AGILE)
Abstract: The inability of existing theoretical and practical tools to scaleably and efficiently deal with the control of complex, uncertain and time-changing large-scale systems, not only leads to a effort-, time- and cost-consuming deployment of Large-Scale Control Systems (LSCSs), but also prohibits the wide application of LSCS in areas and applications where LSCSs could potentially have a tremendous effect in improving system efficiency and Quality of Services (QoS), reducing energy consumption and emissions, and improving the day-to-day quality of life. Based on recent advances of its partners on convex design for LSCSs and robust and efficient LSCS self-tuning, the AGILE project aims at developing and evaluating an integrated LSCS-design methodology, applicable to large-scale systems of arbitrary scale, heterogeneity and complexity and capable of:
· Providing pro-active, arbitrarily-close-to-optimal LSCS performance;
· Being intrinsically self-tuneable, able to rapidly and efficiently optimize LSCS performance when short- medium- and long-time variations affect the large-scale system;
· Providing efficient, rapid and safe fault-recovery and LSCS re-configuration; and,
· Achieving all the above, while being scalable and modular.
To ease implementation and deployment of the AGILE system in existing open-architecture SCADA/DCS infrastructures, a set of open-source interfacing tools will be developed. The integrated LSCS design system to be developed within AGILE along with the interfaces will be extensively tested and evaluated into two real-life large-scale Test Cases (a 20-junction urban traffic network and a large-scale energy-controlled building) possessing a rich variety of design and performance characteristics, extremely complex nonlinear dynamics, highly stochastic effects, uncertainties and modeling errors, as well as reconfiguration and modular design requirements.
7.ADVANCED SIGNAL-PROCESSING FOR ULTRA-FAST MAGNETIC RESONANCE AND TRAINING (FAST)
Abstract: FAST will contribute to establishing MRSI as non-invasive routine tool in the clinic for combating major diseases. An ultimate goal is MRSI during surgery. An innovative graphical user-interface with web-collaboration will enable interactive communication sessions, with data- and action-sharing, between multiple users.
FAST is interdisciplinary and intersectorial and lends itself very well for Training/ToK in all facets of MRSI, with advanced interactive web-based and traditional methods. Partner expertise ranges from medicine to theoretical physics, via biochemistry, chemistry, physics, signal processing, informatics, numerical algebra, and encompasses four Industries. Our joint effort will make MRSI a reliable, ultra-fast, non-invasive, metabolite monitor for the clinic.