ISSIA Marine Robotics Laboratory

We study and develop heterogeneous cooperative aerial, surface and underwater robots for marine and maritime applications.

Our current research topics include:

  • cooperative navigation, guidance and control
  • cooperative mission control
  • modeling & identification of underwater robots
  • automatic characterisation of the operating environment
  • design of innovative marine robotic platforms


“the state-of-the-art modular portable reconfigurable Unmanned Marine Vehicle”



Autonomous vehicles PROTEUS

PROTEUS (Portable RObotic TEchnology for Unmanned Surveys) is a reconfigurable vehicle that has the possibility to act as ROV, AUV or USSV.
Light and manageable, is highly modular thanks to the open-frame chassis that allows for quick installation and shifting of tools, equipment and sensors.
Even thrusters are interchangeable and displaceable modules. In this way the vehicle can be reconfigured at every mission according to the specific needs.


Autonomous vehicles ARTU’

R2 (Artù) is the upgraded version of Romeo, the prototype ROV that, developed in the mid Nineties with its interchangeable toolsled and capability of reaching 500m depth, was exploited in numerous Antarctic, Arctic and Mediterranean campaigns. The computing system of the vehicle has been renewed, moving from a proprietary VME-based architecture to a platform based on PC hw and free sw. R2, that weighs about 450 in air, is characterised by a redundant actuator configuration, four vertical and four horizontal thrusters, enabling high precision maneuvering capabilities also in the proximity of the seabed.


Autonomous vehicles e-URoPe

e-URoPe is a hybrid ROV/AUV developed by CNR-ISSIA for operating in coastal areas, up to a maximum depth of 200 m, with a relatively light logistics. The vehicle, equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system consisting of Fiber Optic Gyro, DVL and USBL/modem, presents a redundant actuator configuration, four vertical and four horizontal thrusters, enabling high precision maneuvering capabilities also in the proximity of the seabed. The fiber optic link in ROV-mode supports the transmission of high resolution live video as well as direct connection from the surface station to high throughput instruments. As its ancestor Romeo/R2, e-URoPe, that weighs about 120 Kg in air, carries out an interchangeable toolsled that can be reconfigured according to mission requirements.


Autonomous vehicles SHARK

Shark is an Unmanned Semi-Submersible Vehicle originally designed for the recovery of emergency towing devices for distressed ships. Equipped with four horizontal thrusters, wi-fi and radio communication system, and autopilot, Shark has also been exploited for data collection and sampling in the proximity of Arctic glaciers (Svaalbard Islands) for the study of ice-water-air interface.


Autonomous vehicles CHARLIE

The Charlie Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), originally developed for the sampling of sea surface microlayer and exploited in the Italian Antarctic expedition 2003-’04, in the following years supported research in the field of unmanned marine vehicles. In particular, this prototype vehicle allowed the experimental validation of algorithms and methodologies proposed and developed by different research groups cooperating on the basis of heterogeneous programs. The supported research mainly focused on embedded real-time platforms for robotics and industrial automation; modelling and identification; basic navigation, guidance and control; straight line and generic path following; cooperative mission control and path-following; and definition of good experimental methodologies for robots at sea.


Autonomous vehicles VIDEORAY

A commercial VideoRay mini-ROV has been adapted for inspecting the internal structures of ship ballast tanks and for sampling of larvae and eggs of Antarctic silverfish in the platelet ice, thus opening the way to new research in the field of portable modular marine robotics in remote and polar environment.