The scenarios for euRathlon 2014 sea robotics competition focused on the aspects that would characterize the euRathlon 2015 air+land+sea competition. This way, the teams participating in euRathlon could use the 2014 sea competition as a valid benchmark to design and test solutions for the final euRathlon Challenge. Different scenarios were proposed to the teams by keeping the general attitude to present a challenging problem without prescribing technologies to avoid constraining the proposed solutions. It was up to the teams to think and develop the most effective and creative approaches to the problems, to select the more suited sensors and algorithms and finally to make the robots to work properly and successfully in the addressed scenario.Several important themes were identified and needed to be successfully addressed by the teams to accomplish the proposed tasks: navigation, control, sensing and persistent autonomy, manipulation and underwater communication.
Setting up the scene
The proposed tasks were part of a general scene that simulates a Fukushima-like accident. An earthquake with a resulting tsunami dramatically damages a coastal area in which a nuclear power plant is located. The plant facilities have reported major damages and some pipes are supposed to leak radioactive substances into the sea. An intervention task force has been sent to the area of the accident with the objective to survey the area, to find out if some pipe is leaking contaminant chemical and, in that case, to intervene to solve the issue. Since the area of intervention has been ravaged by the earthquake and by radiations, the task force cannot get close to the disaster area. Only by deploying autonomous robots able to fulfill complex tasks in presence of debris and obstacles is possible for the team to intervene effectively on the disaster scene and at the same time limiting the danger for the operators’ health.
Figure: Sea Basin area. The competition was held in the Arena 1. The Arena 2 contained areas in which the teams could exercise for euRathlon tasks during the SAUC-E and euRathlon competitions. Source: euRathlon
The five scenarios designed for the euRathlon 2014 sea competition were:
• Long range autonomous underwater navigation
• Environmental survey of the accident area (mapping)
• Leak localisation and structure inspection
• Interaction with an underwater structure (manipulation)
• Combined scenario
Detailed information about the scenarios and euRathlon 2014 competition can be found in the euRathlon 2014 “Missions & Rules”. See PDF document below:
(Last update: 28/09/2014) Modifications are highlighted in yellow.