MASK - Marine Robots for better Sea Knowledge awareness

First trials for the MASK project and...

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.

Author: Fausto Miguel Pascoal Ferreira
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