MASK - Marine Robots for better Sea Knowledge awareness
From the 14th to the 18th of May, the MASK project had its first trials in Baška, Krk Island, Croatia. These took place during the 16th Baška GNSS Conference: Technologies, Techniques and Applications Across PNT and the 3rd Workshop on Smart Blue and Green Maritime Technologies. The program included a series of icebreaking games, educational robotics workshops and tests with robots at the hotel pool. Seven different robots were tested throughout the week and most tests took place with five robots working at the same time. Missions included navigation in a polygon, wall following, circle around an obstacle and picking up objects. As the project is dedicated to environmental protection, the objects to be picked were protection masks and plastic bottles. Moreover, images were collected to train Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect and classify these objects. Due to bad weather, trials at sea were reduced but students had the opportunity to test the robots during a storm with low visibility and waves making the trials realistic and challenging. As only 10 students could travel, remote testing took also place for the students involved in the project that could not attend in person. In addition, the project was presented during the conference to a wide audience and students participated in the presentation by providing their feedback on the project trials to the attendees. This provided high visibility to the project and at the same time allowing the students to interact with professionals from the field. In particular, attendees had the opportunity of controlling the robots but they were taught by the students on a reverse train the trainers experiement.
MASK project partner Bedekovčina High School visited LABUST, FER on 21st March 2023. The students had to opportunity to learn more about LABUST projects during a presentation by Assistant Professor Đula Nađ. After, they had the opportunity of driving different types of robots in LABUST pool, both surface vehicles and ROVs. The students considered it a fun activity and are looking forward to the more challenging task of remoting control the same ROVs, an activity forecast in the Erasmus+ MASK project. The remote control of ROVs will act as preparation to the trials at sea in May in Baška, that will take place during the 16th Baška GNSS Conference, organized by the MASK project partner University of Rijeka, Faculty of Maritime Studies.
On the 1st of February, Project Coordinator Dr. Fausto Ferreira from FER, University of Zagreb and Associate Professor Lovro Maglić from the Center for Marine Technologies, Faculty of Maritime Studies, University of Rijeka visited Baška, Croatia to prepare the first experimental trials at sea to take place between 16th and 18th of May 2023. The testing site was visited and logistics for the deployment at sea were discussed. Moreover, a meeting with the hotel where the participants will be accomodated and theoretical lectures will take place was held to discuss the program and its conjunction with the 16th Baška GNSS Conference.
The Marine Robotics for better Sea Knowledge (MASK) project has started officially on the 1st November 2022. The MASK project focuses on the teaching, learning, and training of late high school students and their teachers in the area of marine robotics and artificial intelligence applied to environmental monitoring and protection and giving special attention to the possibilities introduced by remote access to infrastructures (telerobotics). Since the start, 6 lectures with the students and one session with the teachers took place. The students are very interested and eager to learn and experiment with robots. In March 2023, they will have the first opportunity to teleoperate marine robots from their schools and after a few sessions of remote testing, they will have the possibility of testing the robots at sea in May 2023 in Baška, Croatia during the 16th Baška GNSS Conference.