Virtual ENvironment interface by sensory integration for Inspection and manipulation Control
in multifunctional underwater vehicles

A Basic Research project
BRITE-EURAM III - Industrial and Material Technology programme


This proposal concerns the study and development of methodologies for optimising acoustical and optical sensors' functioning and integrating related data for the formation of an accurate virtual environment aimed at supporting navigation, inspection, and maintenance/repair tasks of a multifunctional remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV).

At present, the guidance and the inspection tasks performed by ROVs are not easy for several reasons.
For instance, every kind of data acquired by a sensor device on-board a vehicle is controlled by an operator.
The ROV navigation is made difficult by the lack of depth perception of the operator who utilises, typically, only optical cameras. In other words, the several sensors work separately and for different goals. As a consequence, to perform an effective operation, an ROV requires specialised crew, expensive training course and many hours of practice.

The integrated use of acoustical and optical cameras to reconstruct the actual scenario by a virtual environment improves the pilot comfort and then speeds up the operations, also reducing the number of operators and then the overall cost.
Moreover, this sharply increases the capabilities of telerobotic tasks in that an operator can interact with the synthetic scenario, understanding the sur-rounding situation, navigating and simulating a specific task before actually per-forming it. Also, deskilling the operator by the use of better computer model based controller will reduce the cost of ROV operations.

In this context, this proposal aims at achieving mainly two specific targets:

These objectives can be attained by:


Link to the online demo   (Cosmo Player  plug-in required!)

Official VENICE web page

Vittorio Murino  +
20 September 2000