Thesis subject

Development of an autonomous small robot boat for supporting aerial remote sensing in fluvial environments

The task of sampling aquatic ecosystems is a laborious and expensive work, especially when it comes to cover a very wide area. This work can be improved by using UAV equipped with different sensors. When operating outdoors the UAV performance or autonomy might be subject to several external factors. In some cases, an emergency landing manoeuvre is necessary to avoid an accident. When working in fluvial environment it’s hard to take the control of the UAV and bring it to the shore for landing. Therefore, it is important to have a backup platform in the water to deal with this problem.

A possible solution for this problem is to design and development a custom-built unmanned surface vehicle (USV, aka. maritime robot) that could support the UAV flights in the fluvial environments but also that could also act as an extended sensing platform.


The aim of this project is to study the potential of UAV. This will be achieved within the main steps:

  1. Review of the state-of-the art on USV
  2. Design of the USV, mechatronics, and sensing payload
  3. Field tests
  4. Writing report


    • Borreguero, D.; Velasco, O.; Valente, J. Experimental Design of a Mobile Landing Platform to Assist Aerial Surveys in Fluvial Environments. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 38
    • M. Dunbabin and L. Marques, "Robots for Environmental Monitoring: Significant Advancements and Applications," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 24-39, March 2012

      Requirements (optional)

      • Willing to learn about robotics and artificial intelligence
      • Enthusiast about open-software and open-hardware
      • Environment conservation supporter

          Theme(s): Sensing & measuring