The scientists from Austria, Germany, Croatia, France, Belgium and Italy involved in the new EU project "subCULTron" are relying on a self-organizing, autonomously communicative type of robot. Some 120 underwater swarm robots are to be ultimately used, says Schmickl, who heads the Artificial Life Lab at the University of Graz. The project features a research budget of EUR 4 million and should extend over a period of four years.
Artificial mussels (aMussels) are to be used. They will sit at the bottom of the lagoon and collect data. The quick and versatile "aFish" robots will assume the role of intermediary between the aMussels and the “aPads” swimming on the surface of the water. These serve as the base stations for the exchange of data with the scientists in the laboratory as well as energy charging stations for the “aFish” robots. Their energy is derived from solar cells. New methods of generating energy underwater are being developed so that the robots are able to operate in an energy-saving manner for a long time.
The development of completely new technologies should enable the research being implemented to provide specific advantages for industry and technology.