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Portuguese underwater robot exported to Brazil

An underwater robot created by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto (INESC Porto) to inspect dams will soon be put to use on the other side of the Atlantic. A consortium of Brazilian companies has signed a three-year contract, worth 1.6 million Euros, with INESC Porto for the production and supply of this robot.

The robot, developed by INESC Porto, has already been tested by Águas do Oeste where it is used to inspect dam structures and detect silting in the basins that could lead to the disappearance of rivers. The underwater robot, that came to be known as Mares, automatically collects data and visual information in real time, to an accuracy of centimetres.

According to Augustin Olivier, advisor to the Board of Directors at INESC Porto, the project began at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto in 2006. “At the end of last year, and with the help of the University of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, Brazil, we made contact with Brazilian companies”, he explains. One of the professors at the university taking part in the negotiations will also be involved in the university campus that INESC Porto will open in São Paulo, Brazil. According to Augustin Olivier, the underwater robot that will be developed for a consortium of four Brazilian companies working in the area of energy will be bigger than Mares and it will have more sensors. It will also be able to be in the water for up to ten hours, allowing it to reach up to 50 kilometres. The robot does not need to be constantly controlled by anyone because it has its own computer incorporated into the design; it not only provides the coordinates of the route but it also stores the data collected.

Público, 20th October, 2010




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