LABUST has taken part in many scientific research projects relating to underwater systems and technologies in various roles. This includes numerous international (FP7, H2020, ONRG, INTERREG,...) as well as national projects.
ONR-G project ADRIATIC remote trials were performed in the period March 29-April 8, 2021 in collaboration with the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
The goal of the trials was to test novel diver-robot interaction modalities developed within the project. The scenario consisted of a diver equipped with sensors embedded in the diving suit and a gesture recognizing diving glove in a pool in Auckland, and the D2 AUV in the LABUST pool in Zagreb collaborating together. The diver used the smart diving glove to recognize gestures and send them acoustically to a poolside PC. The commands are then sent over a http server to a poolside PC in Zagreb and again translated to acoustic commands transmitted to the underwater vehicle. The vehicle executed simple movement actions mapped to these commands. The underwater cameras, as well as the cameras mounted in on the vehicle were streamed to Auckland to provide situational awareness, and the diver received a haptic feedback through the glove when a gesture was recognized and sent successfully.
Considering the distance between ABI and LABUST laboratories and the current travel and collaboration restrictions in force, it was practically impossible to do a joint experiment in person. Introducing existing and new technologies towards enabling such remote collaboration experiences promotes equipment and infrastructure sharing and help crossing barriers standing in the way of science.