The Eureka Advanced Underwater Robotics Project is a collaborative venture between Italy and the United Kingdom Its aim is to develop two underwater vehicles which utilise advanced robotic techniques These are the WIR, a semi-autonomous work and inspection robot and the ARUS, a fully autonomous robot for underwater survey

Eureka refers to the collaborative framework with which the project is being developed. It was launched in 1985 with the aim of stimulating cross border Co-Operation in order to heighten Europe's competitiveness in the world market The granting of Eureka status usually allows the organisation involved to seek national funding for the pre-competitive phases of the project and for the first phase of the UK section this has been provided by the DTI under its advanced robotics initiative.

The present status is that the project definition stage is due for completion in the new year whilst the proposals for the sub-system and vehicle development phases are now in the preparation stage. It is Intended that these subsequent phases should follow directly on from the first.

The organisation is involved in this project in the UK are-

  • Ferranti ORE Ltd (UK Prime)- Project management, project definition, acoustic communications, system architecture, survey instruments, navigation sonar and obstacle classification

  • British Maritime Technology Ltd-Hydrodynamics, structure and propulsion

  • Cambridge Consultants Ltd-Long range navigation

  • Henot-Watt University-Knowledge based systems and processing Infrastructure

  • Institute of Oceanographic Sciences-Mission analysis and support requirements

  • Marconi Underwater Systems Ltd-Energy systems, availability, reliability and maintainability

  • Transfer Technology Ltd-Man/machine interface and radio communications

  • UKAEA, Harwell-Non destructive testing

  • University of Strathclyde-Payload handling

Whilst in Italy those organisations involved are-

  • Tecnomare SpA (Italian Prime)- Project management and system architecture

  • AGIP-Mission analysis

  • Ansaldo SpA-Availability, reliability, maintainability, energy systems and power distribution

  • Elsag SpA-Acoustic communications, umbilical telemetry and acoustic imaging

  • ENEA-Market analysis, guidance, navigation and control Processing infrastructure, knowledge based systems, manipulator control, positioning and scene identification

  • Riva Calzoni SpA-Structure and propulsion

  • Saipem SpA-Manipulator design, logistics and operability

The second and third phases of the programme will require a slightly different mix of organisations with the emphasis changing from conceptual design to wards the construction of technology demonstrators of both the vehicle and its su b-systems These subsequent phases are expected to run approximately in parallel and to be followed by a production engineering phase with the first ARUS vehicles being ready for the market In 1994

The Autonomous Robot for Underwater Survey (ARUS)

It is the intention of this paper to concentrate mainly on the design and construction of the ARUS vehicle in order to promote the interest of the UK underwater vehicle community into active collaboration in the programme The main market for the vehicle is perceived as being that of servicing the requirements of ocean science research with typical missions being the delimiting of EEZ, s and the geological survey of the seabed In addition to this, applications in deep water marine salvage, hydrocarbon exploitation, hydrographic survey and defence have been studied

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