My office mates at EPFL, Alexander Bahr and Felix Schill, have for a while been working on launching their startup, Hydromea, as well as building a new, exquisitely engineered micro-AUV. A video of the first prototype is now available:
While the vehicle in the video is tethered and remote-controlled, it will soon operate autonomously. The end goal is to use a school of these AUVs to perform wide-area water sensing tasks, at a higher resolution than existing techniques permit.
Bombordo, an ocean-focussed weekly magazine on the Portuguese public television (RTP), covered the MORPH project this week, with the range-based formation control algorithm I worked on while in Lisbon making an appearance. If you speak Portuguese, skip to ~18:30 and listen to Luís Sebastião and António Pascoal explain a little of what MORPH is.
It’s always nice to spend a few days in Lisbon, but it’s even better when you get to join some AUV trials.
This week, the trials were part of the MORPH project, and involved IST’s own MEDUSA vehicles, as well as the (huge in comparison) ATLAS SeaCat, and were looking to improve system integration in preparation for future cooperative missions.
If you’re interested in ocean robotics, you might want to take a look at DSOR’s newly launched Facebook page, where you’ll find more details and better photos of this and other trials.
And for a different kind of aquatic creature, here’s one of my oversized red-eared sliders taking a walk.
Nothing to do with anything, but my workstation recently developed the dreaded windows insomnia issue. Sitting at the desk in the morning to find out that it hadn’t suspended or even locked was starting to get on my nerves, and I set out to fix it. The culprit? Perhaps unsurprisingly, srvnet:
An active remote client has recently sent requests to this machine.
Unfortunately, actually solving it ended up taking the most of an hour of dealing with the oh-so-great diagnostic tools windows provides and browsing obscure Technet threads. In the end, none of the common solutions worked for me. I had media sharing disabled, fsmgmt.msc showed no active sessions, and my drivers are up-to-date, and as common as possible.
Registry hacking, service disabling, and all the other proposed solutions failed to solve the problem. What fixed it?
powercfg -requestsoverride driver srvnet system
Now, setting an override is an obvious solution, and many did it before. The interesting part is that overriding \FileSystem\srvnet, as most were suggesting, did not work for me; overriding just srvnet did. Of course, now the computer will go to sleep even if in the midst of file transfers, but on the rare occasions I need it not to, the age-old solution of having foobar2000 play my music library works like a charm. If you happen to face the same issue, it’s worth a try.
I have been working on this for a little too long, but it’s an interesting problem: how do you get an AUV to follow two leaders on the surface using only an acoustic modem? We ran some experiments last summer, which will be published on an upcoming ICRA paper. In the meantime, here’s a video preview.