Advanced subsea robots and monitoring networks have become increasingly important for subsea exploration, environmental observation, industrial control, and maritime security. These systems face challenges ranging from shallow water to deep-sea applications. To overcome these challenges, engineers can draw inspiration from nature. Studies on the bio-sonar of dolphins provide a clue for reliable underwater communication and positioning, which is the basis for modern subsea networks and collaborative underwater robots. Pressure-resistant electronic design enables devices to operate at greater depths and reduces their size and weight. Bionic robots, inspired by fast-swimming animals such as penguins and manta rays, show excellent propulsion efficiency and maneuverability with low energy consumption. Their modular internal design, based on a common robot kit, facilitates easy adaptation to different application needs and the design of other robot systems. These subsea robots and stationary nodes are fully interoperable and can work in swarms or in heterogeneous configurations, combining different types of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), and stationary subsea networks. This flexibility provides a wide range of subsea operational capabilities. Intelligent swarm algorithms are being developed to improve collaboration between the robots. In addition, underwater docking stations will be useful for battery recharge and exchange of large data sets, or to install a swarm of resident AUVs for long-term monitoring. Recent progress in smart marine robotics has been accomplished and substantially accelerated by the implementation of Artificial Intelligence. Trained neural networks execute sensor-data fusion, real-time processing, and intelligent object recognition directly on board the vehicle. This information can be sent to the operator and/or used for operational adaptation of the corresponding subsea mission.
He is a trained physiologist with a background in marine biology and polar research, specialized on biomechanics and sensorics of fast swimming animals: penguins, dolphins, Manta rays etc. (PhD on “Underwater flight of Penguins”)
Thereafter focused on Bionics - to explore how the discoveries from nature can be utilized for improved engineering solutions.
Since 2000, he serves as Managing Director (and co-founder) of the EvoLogics GmbH, which is a Berlin-based high-tech company that develops and provides novel technical solutions for maritime research, environmental monitoring and sustainable industrial applications: e.g.
- underwater data networks (derived from bio-sonar of dolphins)
- novel sensor systems based on AI
- intelligent swarms of underwater robots (bio-inspired AUVs & USVs)