VLIZ establishes a Marine Robotics Centre | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

VLIZ news

VLIZ establishes a Marine Robotics Centre

Added on 2018-01-17
The Flemish government invests 3 million euros into a Marine Robotics Centre, exploited by VLIZ from 2018 onwards. The intension of this Marine Robotics Centre is to grant Flemish scientists and their (inter)national partners, as well as other Flemish actors in the marine robotics scene, access to the latest technologies in the marine research field. To accomplish this goal, VLIZ will acquire two robotic devices which are complementary to the already available remotely operated vehicle ROV Genesis.

Marine scientists monitor the activities of the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV Genesis) in the control room. Photo: VLIZ

The approved investment enables the acquisition of two unique robots that can move autonomously and conduct detailled observations and collect samples to a depth of 1000m below the sea surface. By purchasing an 'Autonomous Undewater Vehicle' (AUV) and an 'Unmanned Surface Vehicle' (USV), Flanders strengthens its position in marine sciences at the European level.

Both devices are complementary to the already available research infrastructure exploited by VLIZ. VLIZ already manages the multidisciplinary Flemish research vessel RV Simon Stevin and sets the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Genesis at the disposal of all actors active in innovation in the marine landscape, both nationally and internationally, for inspection and exploration purposes.

Besides, the two new, autonomous robots complement the already existing ship-bound activities and could for instance be used at locations which are difficult to reach for ships. With this investment, the Flemish Government grants Flemish scientists and their (inter)national partners, as well as other Flemish actors in the marine robotics scene, access to the latest technologies in the offshore sector and marine research field. More and more, robotics and underwater technology play an important role in activities which are otherwise to expensive, hazardous or time-consuming. The combination of ROV, AUV, USV and a state-of-the-art research vessel (RV Simon Stevin) is particularly suited to face many of the future challenges.

"With such a Marine Robotics Centre, we are able to perpetuate and strengthen the leading role of the Flemish marine research community. Moreover, by the creation of a Marine Robotics Centre, VLIZ will fill a niche in the European research landscape", says professor Jan Mees, general director of VLIZ. “This kind of high-tech autonomous platforms will become indispensable with regard to the monitoring of offshore activities (fish and seaweed farming, energy production, dredging, ...) and large-scale projects such as the possible removal of hazardous munition deposited after WWI at the 'Paardenmarkt' site off the coast of Knokke-Heist, the investigation of the effects of an artificial island in front of the coast or the study of the erosion and sedimentation processes near the beach for the purpose of coastal protection".

Given that VLIZ is the central contact for marine sciences in Flanders, it is the ideal institution to manage these specialized marine robotics. This infrastructure will be of benefit for all actors in Flanders active in innovation in the marine landscape.

 

Link: www.vliz.be/en/marine-robotics-centre



[Overview] [Login]