The following pictures show one or more of our 20 "Lily" AUVs that have been designed and built during the first 18 months of the project. These AUVs are equipped with a bluelight sensor system for short-range distance measurements and short-range communication and will be used for 3D underwater swarm experiments.
The following pictures show one or more of our 20 "Jeff" AUVs that are the an improved platform with increased capabilities (e.g. increased sensor range and higher agility) . Like the Lily AUVs the Jeff AUVs are equipped with a bluelight sensor system for short-range distance measurements and short-range communication and will be used for 3D underwater swarm experiments. They additionally have a module to connect different environmental sensors, have a hydroacoustic system, and can dock to a floating station for recharging and data exchange.
The following pictures show our booth and AUV swarm at the CeBIT March 2014 in Hannover, where we showed an emulated real-world scenario of a search mission (e.g. for a black box of a crashed plane). We used a large 2m x 1m x 80cm aquarium with gravel and stones on the floor to emulate a real-world environment. In one of the corners we had a sunken target object (a magnet on a metal plate) that the Lily AUVs should find. We programmed our Lilys with collision avoidance and a random walk, no special search algorithm was needed. The main algorithm is that when the AUVs (by chance) move close to the magnet, they can detect it with their digital compass. The AUVs then emit a blue-light signal that attracts other near AUVs, which themselves also emit this blue-light signal. This quickly leads to an aggregation of AUVs above the target. These AUVs could then collectively perform a task at the target, e.g. lift it together.