Cooperative Cognitive Control for
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles


Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) represent one of the most challenging frontiers for robotics research. AUVs work in an unstructured environment and face unique perception, decision, control and communications difficulties. Currently, the state of the art is dominated by single AUVs limited to open-sea preplanned trajectories with offline postprocessing of the data gathered during the mission. The use of multiple AUVs as propagated in this project is still in a very early research phase. Some of the research issues addressed in this project are even completely uncharted territory, especially the development of functionalities to seamlessly monitor critical underwater infrastructures and to detect anomalous situations (e.g., missions related to harbour safety and security) and the study of advanced AUVs capable of interacting with humans to perform such functions as companion/support platforms during scientific and commercial dives.

The aim of the Co3-AUVs project is to develop, implement and test advanced cognitive systems for coordination and cooperative control of multiple AUVs. Several aspects will be investigated including 3D perception and mapping, cooperative situation awareness, deliberation and navigation as well as behavioral control strictly linked with the underwater communication challenges. As a result, the team of AUVs will cooperate in challenging scenarios in the execution of missions where all data is processed online. In doing so, the team will be robust with respect to failures and environmental changes. These key features will be tested in a harbor scenario where additional difficulties with respect to open sea applications arise and in a human diver assistance scenario that also illustrates human robot interaction issues.

The research activities in the project are structured into the mail work-packages Cooperative World Modeling, Cooperative Mission Execution, and Cooperative Skills. The project also includes work on a Simulator as well as joined experiments in the form of Demonstrators.

Project Type

EU FP-7, ICT Challenge 2: Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics
Collaborative Project (STREP), Grant agreement No: IST-231378