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Talks on Underwater Exploration Technologies

10 Mar 2012

A Series of Public Lectures on Technologies for Underwater Exploration

The Department of Systems and Control Engineering is organizing a series of three public talks on technologies for underwater exploration by guest speakers from California Polytechnic State University, The Aurora Trust and the Department of Classics & Archaeology.

The first talk, by Dr. Zoe Wood from California Polytechnic State University, is entitled “Visualization of underwater data”. This will be held on the 13th March 2012 at 16:00 in Room MP101, Maths and Physics Building.

The second talk, by Dr. Timmy Gambin from The Aurora Trust and the Department of Classics & Archaeology - University of Malta, is entitled “Remote Sensing at Sea: an end user’s tale”. This will be held on the 20th March 2012 at 16:00 in Room MP101, Maths and Physics Building.

The third talk, by Dr. Christopher Clark from California Polytechnic State University, is entitled “Tracking Sharks with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles”. This will be held on the 23rd March 2012 at 16:00 in the Engineering Lecture Theatre, Engineering Building.

All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.

 

ABSTRACTS

Visualization of Underwater Data – Dr. Zoe Wood

This talk will discuss the visualization of underwater science and geometric data acquired by underwater robots.  Specific applications in the field of marine biology and archeology are discussed. The implementation of various methods taken from scientific visualization, real time rendering, and scattered data interpolation are presented along with visualization results.  The science data application includes visualizations of the surrounding terrain, the ability to map various science data to glyphs, control over color mapping, and scattered data interpolation.  In addition, we present a methodology and algorithm for the reconstruction of three-dimensional geometric models of ancient Maltese water storage systems, i.e. cisterns, from sonar data.


Remote Sensing at Sea: an end user’s tale – Dr. Timmy Gambin

The recent development of marine remote sensing technology has opened up the underwater world to researchers and scientists. However, there is sometimes a gap between the developers (engineers and computer programmers) and end user scientists working out at sea (biologists, archaeologists and geologists). Parallel work often leads to frustrating situations that could have been identified and solved at the initial stages of development. In this talk I will present the hardware, software and methodologies used for remote sensing projects at sea – from an archaeologist’s perspective. The talk is illustrated with examples from a number of projects that have been executed in the ambit of multi-disciplinary research.

Tracking Sharks with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles – Dr. Christopher Clark

This talk will present our recent progress in using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to autonomously track and follow sharks tagged with acoustic transceivers. To start, a method for estimating the 2D planar position, velocity, and orientation states of a tagged shark will be discussed. The method is designed for implementation on an AUV equipped with a stereo-hydrophone and receiver system that detects acoustic signals transmitted by a tag. The particular hydrophone system used here provides a measurement of relative bearing angle to the tag, but does not provide the sign (+ or -) of the bearing angle. A Particle Filter was used for fusing these measurements over time to produce a state estimate of the tag location. The Particle Filter combined with an active control system allowed the system to overcome the ambiguity in the sign of the bearing angle. This state estimator was validated by tracking both a stationary tag and moving tag with known positions. These experiments revealed state estimate errors were on par with those obtained by manually driven boat based tracking systems, the current method used for tracking fish and sharks over long distances. Final experiments involved the catching, releasing, and an autonomous AUV tracking of a 1 meter Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata) in SeaPlane Lagoon, Los Angeles, California.

Next, our current work in developing a multi-robot controller will be presented. In this control problem, AUVs must determine control actions that keep them from coming within a predetermined distance of the shark (so as not to alter shark behavior), and distribute vehicles to enable complimentary sensor measurements that lead to decreased localization errors. In our solution, AUVs are programmed to circumnavigate a set of particles representing the sharks estimated position. Current simulation results will be presented.


For further information please contact: Prof. Simon G. Fabri
Tel. 2340 2079,Email –simon.fabri@um.edu.mt

 


 



euRobotics Week

10 Nov 2011

small_euRobotics_week_logo

The first European Robotics Week took place from 28th of November to the 4th of December 2011. During this week, 129 organisations (industry, research institutes, and universities) organized over 350 robotics related activities across Europe, highlighting the growing importance of robotics and promoting European Robotics.

Locally, the Department of Systems and Control Engineering teamed up with the Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory (Dept of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering), the University of Malta IEEE Student Branch and two commercial entities to organize a series of activities for the European Robotics Week.

This is a new initiative coordinated by the European robotics community and supported by the European Coordination Action (euRobotics). Organizations from several European countries simultaneously held outreach activities on robotics technologies targeted at students and the general public. The aim is to highlight the importance of robotics as an emerging and exciting technology, and to use the robotics theme to encourage students in taking up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Further information on the European Robotics week can be found here.

The local programme of activities is detailed below:

PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES: European Robotics Week 2011

 

Monday 28th November, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malta: 

09:00 ~ 12:00: Laboratory tours for school children. Schools need to book in advance for this activity.

09:00 ~ 12:00: Robotics-related commercial stands on show.

11:00 ~ 12:00: Robot Wars 2011 participant displays.

Tuesday 29th November, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malta:

09:00 ~ 12:00: Laboratory tours for school children. Schools need to book in advance for this activity.

09:00 ~ 12:00: Robotics-related commercial stands on show.

11:00 ~ 12:00: Robot Wars 2011 participant displays.


Wednesday 30th November, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malta:

15:00 ~ 16:00: Robot Wars 2011 participant displays.

15:00 ~ 16:00: Robotics-related commercial stands on show.

16:00 ~ 17:00: Public talks on robotics and related activities at the University of Malta. (Room EB7, Engineering Building)


Thursday 1st December, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malta:

09:00 ~ 12:00: Interactive workshop for school children in the Control Systems Lab a tour of the Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory. Schools need to book in advance for this activity.

09:00 ~ 12:00: Robotics-related commercial stands on show.


 



Prime Minister Inaugurates Two New Labs

07 Oct 2011

The Department's Control Systems Engineering and Biomedical Engineering laboratories were inaugurated by the Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi during Fresher's Week 2011. These two laboratories have recently benefited from over €1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under Cohesion Policy 2007-2013. Full newspaper articles featuring this event are available at: 



Public Lecture on the Analysis of Internet Traffic

12 Sep 2011

Title: Building a Model of Organic Link Traffic

Speaker: Dr. Michael A. Dewar

Date: Thursday 22nd September at 1100

Venue: Engineering Building Lecture Room 1

Abstract: At Bitly we study behaviour on the internet by capturing clicks on shortened URLs. This link traffic comes in many forms yet, when studying human behaviour, we're only interested in using 'organic' traffic: the traffic patterns caused by actual humans clicking on links that have been shared on the social web. To extract these patterns, we employ Python/Numpy, streaming Hadoop and some Machine Learning to create a model of organic traffic patterns based on bitly's click logs. This model lets us extract the traffic we’re interested in from the variety of patterns generated by inorganic entities following bitly links.



Public Lectures on Control Design (5, 6 Apr)

30 Mar 2011

The Department of Systems and Control Engineering organized a series of two public lectures on Control Systems Design. The speaker was

Assoc. Prof. Ing. Marek Kubalcik

Tomas Bata University, Zlin, Czech Republic.

The two lectures were held as follows:
  • Library of Adaptive MIMO Controllers Based on Polynomial Methods
  • Date: Tuesday, 5 April 2011
  • Time: 1600hrs ~ 1700hrs
  • Venue: Room EB7, Engineering Building

  • Predictive Control of Multivariable Systems
  • Date: Wednesday, 6 April 2011
  • Time: 1600hrs ~ 1700hrs
  • Venue: Room EB7, Engineering Building

Prof. Kubalcik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Process Control at Tomas Bata University.

 
Abstracts

5 April: Library of Adaptive MIMO Controllers based on Polynomial Methods

The lecture will present a design of self – tuning controllers for two input – two output systems. The synthesis of the controllers is based on polynomial methods. Various configurations of the closed loop system were considered and also several decoupling compensators were applied. The controllers were incorporated into a library designed under MATLAB – Simulink environment. The library enables their design and verification. The implemented controllers can be verified both by simulation and real – time control of laboratory models. Design of particular controllers and description of recursive identification method will be presented as well as several simulations and examples.

6 April: Predictive Control of Multivariable Systems

The lecture will be focused on design and implementation of predictive control algorithms for control of multivariable systems. Linear models of multivariable systems used in model predictive control will be introduced. Various ways of derivation of multi – step – ahead predictors will be presented and compared. Computation of optimal control will be given both for unconstrained and constrained cases. Implementation of predictive controllers for processes with constraints will be described as well as realization of adaptive predictive controllers. Simulations and results of experimental examples will also be presented.




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Calendar
Notices

Public Talk

 

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the Department of Systems and Control Engineering. Click here for more information.


PhD Scholarship in Computer Vision

 

The Department of Systems and Control Engineering is accepting applications for the post of a PhD student to work in collaboration with WildEye. Click here for more information.


Funding Award for WildEye

 

Research funding awarded to the SCE Department under the FUSION Technology Development Programme (TDP) 2017.


Funding Award for BrainApp

 

CBC awarded research funding under the FUSION Technology Development Programme (TDP) 2017.


Closing date for MSc course applications

 

The deadline for late applications for the MSc in Signals, Systems and Control is the 31st August 2017. Click here for more information.


TVM news feature

 

News feature on the work currently being carried out by our PhD student Ms Rachael Nicole Darmanin, supervised by Dr Ing. Marvin Bugeja. Link here.


PhD scholarships at University of Sheffield, UK

 

Please click here for more information.


Postdoctoral Position in Robotics and Control

 

Postdoctoral Position at the University of Le Havre in France. Click here for more information.


MSc by Research - Call for Expression of Interest

 

The Department of Systems and Control Engineering and the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics are seeking students who are interested in pursuing studies leading to an MSc in Engineering degree (mainly by research) on any of the topics detailed here.


Postdoctoral Research Position in EEG

 

[CLOSED] Postdoctoral Research Position in EEG Signal Processing with the Centre for Bionedical Cybernetics. Click here for more information.


 
 

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