Autonomous platform systems for underwater exploration: Light for the sea, adventures for the robots!


Autonomous marine platforms such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs) have a large potential to realize much more efficient ocean observation compared with ship based methodology.  Our group pursue the possibility of such autonomous systems by means of the latest robotics, information processing technologies, artificial intelligence, and sensing technologies.  These systems will realize wide-area, high-accuracy, and long-term observation through collaboration of multiple autonomous agents such as AUVs.  In this talk, some of our latest developments are introduced.  For Multi-vehicles, I will introduce a low-cost seafloor imaging method in collaboration with the small AUV HATTORI and ASV BUTTORI, and the results of sea trials.  AUV MONACA, our latest AUV developed for under ice observation, will be also introduced.  The AUV succeeded in the first autonomous under-ice observation in Antarctica in Jan. 2023.


Toshihiro Maki received the Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 2008. He has been an associate professor in the Center for Integrated Underwater Observation Technology at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo since 2010. His research field is underwater platform systems, especially autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and related technologies. He is also organizing student underwater robot competitions as a director of the NPO 'Japan Underwater Robot Network.'