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INESC TEC develops autonomous vehicles

The goal of project FLEXUS - Flexible Unmanned Surface Vehicles for the Internet of Moving Things, developed by INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) and Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM), is to provide a set of ten autonomous surface vehicles capable of performing missions designed and deployed remotely by the researchers over the Internet.

The first subsystems of the vehicle are currently being integrated and will be tested very soon.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) are small robotic platforms that can be easily transported and handled by a single operator. The typical missions of these vehicles range from static positioning to coordinated movement in formation, and missions can go up to a few kilometres. In this scenario, in order to communicate with each other and with operators, USVs rely on innovative communication solutions that exploit various radio frequency bands.

This idea is part of the paradigm of the Internet of (Moving) Things, which aims to connect to the Internet electronic devices used daily. In this project, INESC TEC wants to make it easier for users to experiment with robotic platforms -  even if they are not necessarily close to the equipment - to carry out tests or collect relevant data.

Bruno Ferreira, a researcher at CRAS, is the technical leader of this project, which started in September 2016 and has a duration of 30 months. After the vehicles are delivered, a training period will start for the teams that will operate them. The project will be monitored remotely and some experiments will be conducted.

The initiative emerged from a proposal submitted to the Horizon 2020 programme called RAWFIE (Road-, Air-, Water- based Future Internet Experimentation). As a result, INESC TEC joined a group of 13 partner organisations from eight European Union countries whose goal is to develop a unique platform that integrates test beds for unmanned vehicles for experimentation in terrestrial, air and maritime environments.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.

INESC TEC, November 2016



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