Monitoring and preservation of coral reefs are critical for marine biology research, economic development, and environmental protection. Given that long-term survey of marine environments and restoring bleached coral reefs are extremely labor-intensive, autonomous robots are emerging as one of the key solutions to address such challenge. In this talk, we present on-going projects at KAUST Robotics group in conceiving autonomous underwater robots for swift and safe navigation in complex environments to collect high-resolution coral images. We also discuss challenges and opportunities in employing robotic manipulators designed for assembly tasks in the coral restoration process, which requires high-precision manipulation skills.
Shinkyu Park is the Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Principal Investigator of Distributed Systems and Autonomy Group at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Park's research focuses on the learning, planning, and control in multi-agent/multi-robot systems. He aims to make foundational advances in robotics science and engineering to build individual robots' core capabilities of sensing, actuation, and communication and to train them to learn the ability to work as a team and attain high-level of autonomy in distributed information processing, decision making, and manipulation. Prior to joining KAUST, he was Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University engaged in cross-departmental robotics projects. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland College Park in 2015. Later he held Postdoctoral Fellow positions at the National Geographic Society (2016) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2016-2019).