Unmanned Systems Technology 042 | Mayflower Autonomous Ship | Embedded Computing | ElevonX Sierra VTOL | UUVs insight | Flygas Engineering GAS418S | Ocean Business 2021 report | Electric motors | Priva Kompano

68 It stores 1 kWh of energy in a lithium- ion battery and navigates underwater using an MTi 30 AHRS from xSens (as well as a depth sensor, LBL positioning capabilities, an optional DVL, and GPS or GLONASS updates when surfaced). Subsystem modularity In the meantime, the UUVs of Iqua Robotics have gained increasing use among numerous universities around the Mediterranean and elsewhere. These former researchers have been able to develop a variety of unique sensor payloads thanks to the open architecture of Iqua’s software systems that enable timely integration of new functions and control algorithms. The COLA2 (Component Oriented Layer-based Architecture for Autonomy) software architecture is used in both the 140 kg Girona 500 AUV and the 52 kg Sparus II AUV. As well as providing a full control stack, a localisation module (and navigation filter) and safety nodes, it has drivers written for communicating with available hardware, and is based on the widely used Robotic Operating System to enable straightforward integration of new subsystems. The system is written in C++ and Python, entailing some training, although most engineers pick it up quickly. This enables the use of a wide variety of cutting-edge underwater cameras and sonars, among other components. For example, the University of Haifa, in Israel, has added non-standard propellers to its Sparus II AUV to alter the way it handles, along with other new technologies. “The extra propellers allow sideways propulsion, and they’ve added stereo cameras to achieve more detailed imaging of the ocean floor than with 2D cameras, with strobe lights as well to illuminate such deep regions of the sea,” explains Marc Carreras, co-founder and CEO of Iqua Robotics. “Eight universities have taken delivery of either a Sparus II or a Girona 500,” he says. “Some of them have combined a robotic manipulator arm with their Girona 500 to be able to grab objects on the seafloor or to manipulate marine infrastructures. Some companies are also starting to use our AUVs for developing an application they want to commercialise, such as ship hull inspection.” Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel uses multiple Girona 500 and Sparus II UUVs, not only for extending their oceanographic and environmental surveys but for developing new technologies for launch, recovery and illumination – most recently in unexploded ordnance inspections in the Baltic Sea. “The Girona 500 produces very stable survey data due to having three hulls, and can integrate huge payloads such as banks of lights, as Geomar have done with theirs,” Carreras adds. “The Sparus II, being a hovering torpedo-shaped UUV, is easier to operate and is more energy-efficient, being the most optimal configuration for many mapping and inspection tasks.” The different vehicles can be operated through the IQUAview GUI, which has February/March 2022 | Unmanned Systems Technology The Quadroin is EvoLogics’ latest penguin-like bio-inspired UUV (Courtesy of EvoLogics) Iqua Robotics’ open software architectures allow their UUVs to be modified with new and experimental subsystems (Courtesy of Iqua Robotics)