Water robot contest showcases innovation

2023-08-15 11:43:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Teams competing in the final of the 2023 China Underwater Robot Professional Contest recently showcased the latest developments in underwater robots in the coastal waters of Dalian Jinshitan National Tourist Resort, Liaoning province.

The contest, held from Thursday to Sunday in Dalian, witnessed the application of new technologies such as binocular vision-based recognition, millimeter-wave technology, human-machine collaboration and intelligent operation.

"Considering today's challenging conditions with strong winds and rough waves, we upgraded our robot's structure and algorithms to ensure more accurate grasping," said Fan Zhichen, a member of the OurEDA II team from Dalian University of Technology, on Friday.

On that morning, their robot managed to retrieve 40 items including scallops, abalone and other marine products within the stipulated time.

Fan's team ranked top in the human-machine collaboration and grasping category, which 21 teams competed in.

"This robot is in its eighth generation now," said Fan. "It was independently designed and developed as a lightweight underwater digital working robot with a modular design and an accompanying upper control system."

The contest was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the city government of Dalian and Pengcheng Laboratory.

Initiated in 2017, the event has become a high-level underwater intelligent robot competition held in a real offshore environment, said Jiang Xinghai, deputy director of the port city's science and technology bureau.

"It has further propelled the research and development in overall control, underwater operations and communication, intelligent sensors, and comprehensive positioning and navigation systems of underwater robots," said Jiang.

Preliminary statistics reveal that over 100 related patents have been generated through the contest, leading to technological advancements and commercialization.

A high-level forum on artificial intelligence and underwater robotics was also held during the contest, facilitating industrial exchanges and collaborations in the field of marine intelligent equipment.

During the opening ceremony of the forum, research teams from several universities signed strategic cooperation agreements with marine farming and underwater robotics development companies to promote further advancements in the industry.


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