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Enabling Autonomy in Challenging Marine Environments

Ioannis Rekleitis
Computer Science and Engineering Department University of South Carolina

August 14, 2017 at  2:00 PM
McConnell Engineering Room 437


The last few years, robots have moved from the pages of science fiction books into our everyday reality. Currently, robots are used in scientific exploration, manufacturing, entertainment, and household maintenance. While the above advances were made possible by recent improvements in sensors, actuators, and computing elements, the research of today is focused on the computational aspects of robotics. In particular, methodologies for utilizing the vast volumes of data that can be generated by a robotic mission, together with techniques that would allow a robot to respond adequately in unforeseeable circumstances are the challenges of tomorrow. This talk presents an overview of algorithmic problems related to marine robotics, with the particular focus on increasing the autonomy of robotic systems in challenging environments. I will talk about vision based state estimation and mapping of underwater caves. In addition I will talk about several vehicles used at the University of South Carolina such as drifters, underwater, and surface vehicles. In addition a short overview of current projects will be discussed. The work that I will present has a strong algorithmic flavour, while it is validated in real hardware. Experimental results from several testing campaigns will be presented.


Ioannis Rekleitis is an Assistant Professor at the Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of South Carolina. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the School of Computer Science, McGill University since 2007. Between 2004 and 2007 he was a visiting fellow at the Canadian Space Agency. During 2004 he was at McGill University as a Research Associate in the Centre for Intelligent Machines with Professor Gregory Dudek in the Mobile Robotics Lab (MRL). Between 2002 and 2003, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University in the Sensor Based Planning Lab with Professor Howie Choset. He was granted his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2002 under the supervision of Professors Gregory Dudek and Evangelos Milios. Thesis title: "Cooperative Localization and Multi-Robot Exploration". His Research has focused on mobile robotics and in particular in the area of cooperating intelligent agents with application to multi-robot cooperative localization, mapping, exploration and coverage. Field deployments of the robotics systems provide valuable feedback for the developed algorithms. His interests extend to computer vision and sensor networks. He has worked with underwater, terrestrial, aerial, and space robots. Ioannis Rekleitis has published more than sixty journal and conference papers. His work can be found online at: