Acronym GREX
Name Coordination and Control of Cooperating Heterogeneous Unmanned Systems in Uncertain Environments
Funding Reference EU-FP6-IST-035223
Dates 2006-06|2009-06

Today, due to the limitations of state-of-the-art embedded systems, marine vehicles are limited in both their autonomy and capabilities. It would be a leap ahead if a researcher could use a multiple vehicle approach, whereby each vehicle plays the role of a sophisticated node (with sensor, processing, and communication capabilities) in a possibly large network – this means combining the properties of different systems in a team.

Grex – the latin word for a herd or flock – suggests the focus of the project: to create a conceptual framework and middleware to coordinate a flock of heterogeneous robotic vehicles in order to achieve a well defined practical goal in an optimised manner.

The main goal of the project is to achieve a first level of distributed “intelligence” through dependable embedded systems that are interconnected and cooperate towards the coordinated execution of tasks. Thus the project will witness the development of theoretical methods and practical tools for multiple vehicle cooperation, bridging the gap between concept and practice.

The technology developed must be on one hand sufficiently generic in order to interface preexisting heterogeneous systems. On the other hand it must be sufficiently robust to cover problems caused by faulty communications. From a practical standpoint, the developments will cover methods for effective programming of multiple systems, coordinated mission control and navigation, formal methods for validation and testing of the programming languages, and the use of perception and communication techniques to enable ad hoc formation of information – and sensor-networks. A series of field trials with autonomous marine robots will be carried out to assess the efficacy of the methods developed under stringent acoustic communication constraints.

Research Groups Dynamical Systems and Ocean Robotics Lab (DSOR)
Signal and Image Processing Group (SIPG)
Project Partners ATLAS Elektronik (DE), IFREMER (FR), INNOVA (IT), MC Marketing Consulting (DE), SEEBYTE (UK), TU Ilmenau (DE), IST/ISR Instituto Superior Técnico/Institute for Systems and Robotics (PT), IMAR-DOP/University of the Azores (PT), SCIANT (BG)
ISR/IST Responsible
António Pascoal
Francisco Garcia
Andreas Häusler
João Pedro Gomes
Carlos Silvestre
António Pedro Aguiar
Luís Sebastião
Paulo Oliveira
Alex Alcocer
Manuel Rufino