Name: aPad - smaller, lighter, smarter autonomous marine surface vehicle
Funding scheme: Horizon 2020, CSA - Coordination and support action
Grant Agreement Number: 754450
Total budget: 99,750 EUR
Start and end dates: 01/05/2017 - 31/10/2018
Coordinator: UNIZG-FER (Croatia)
The project aPad is linked to the FET project no. 640967 subCULTron which developed a heterogeneous robotic system consisting of three different agent types, including artificial lily pads (aPads) – 5 aPads operating on the water surface in an energy efficient way, and acting as an interface for the human society. It soon became clear that the aPads developed as part of this project could be used in many more applications beyond the use proposed in subCULTron, and considering that 70% of our planet is covered by sea, as well as that autonomous unmanned vehicles are some of the top emerging technologies, the aPad has a great potential to become commercially interesting and feasible.
The developed H2Omni-X, renamed for market purposes, is a highly manoeuvrable, fault-tolerant, scalable autonomous surface vehicle with exchangeable payload, its software is open-source and thus widely available and non-exclusive, and it is designed for long-term operation in many environments.
This project transformed FET project research results into innovation by meeting market requirements and needs. The project also significantly increased the innovation potential of the original results, the aPad.
3. Implementation - Goals and Achievements
Within the project, the spin-off company H2O Robotics was established. A comprehensive supply chain and manufacturing process were defined to support the commercialization process. This resulted in a cutting-edge ASV designed for seafloor and surface surveying, mapping and inspection – the H2Omni-X.
Outreach and technology assessment activities:
- Outreach and contact development
LABUST members participated in more than 20 various international conferences, fairs, festivals, workshops and open day events all around Europe. In addition to this, we participated in the EU-funded workshop FET2RIN, the goal of which was to help researchers develop business cases and to help them enter the market with the innovative product.
Some of the events we visited as part of the commercial segment:
For our societal segment of outreach activities we attended:
We also visited events such as the Robotics ICM 2018 Fair Ljubljana, the 5th China Robotics and Intelligent Economies Summit, the UNIZG-FER Open Day events, Festival of Science in Croatia in 2017 and 2018, MIPRO INOVA, the 26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation - MED'18 and the Workshop on EU-funded marine robotics and applications - EMRA'18.
- Technology assessment
Technology assessment activities were conducted during the Interantional Interdisciplinary Field Workshop on Martime Robotics and Applications - Breaking the Surface in 2017 and 2018. The workshop is organized by the LABUST group and encourages the interaction and the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of maritime robotics and its applications. Through the lecture session and practical demonstrations at sea, we presented the product/technology to a wide audience of academic, industrial and end-user groups from various fields, such as maritime robotics, marine biology, marine archaeology, maritime security and business sectors.