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Acquisition of a Combined Aerial and Underwater Motion Capture System

Leonardo Bobadilla (PI), Gregory Reis, Ryan Smith, Kevin Boswell, Henry Briceno, Camilo Road (Co-Is)

Many scientific fields examine organisms and objects that move in aquatic and semiaquatic environments. There are applications in human movement, sport, rehabilitation, and animation, as well as understanding behavior and evolutionary pressures on aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms. In robotics, there is a long-standing desire to coordinate heterogeneous fleets consisting of aerial, surface, and underwater vehicles to study ecological phenomena or perform battlespace operations. The reality is that coordinating a multi-robot fleet is logistically challenging, expensive, and lacks ground-truth; neither the time nor place to develop and debug algorithms and autonomy. Despite this wide array of situations, little research has examined aquatic and semiaquatic motion or the combined tracking of aerial, surface, and underwater robots because of the difficulty in capturing motion across multiple substrates (\e.g., air and water). Recent advances in motion capture technology have made it possible to analyze and track such movements, thus enabling research in multiple substrate tracking and simulating multi-robot deployments in the laboratory. Here, we propose to {\bf procure a laboratory testing tank outfitted with a Qualisys motion tracking system capable of simultaneously tracking multiple aerial, surface and underwater vehicles to enhance existing research programs in marine robotics and ocean science.} Specifically, this motion capture system and testing tank will be a laboratory testbed that provides ground-truth for cooperative operations between aerial, surface, and underwater robots and extends the existing, integrated robotic testing facility at Florida International University.

Dates Active: 2020 — 2022


Army Research Office (ARO; Funder)