Volga | Technology & innovation

Robots for river eco-monitoring created

27 Oct '21
A joint project of the company - resident of the Zhigulevskaya Dolina technopark ANO Airalab Rus and engineers from ITMO University (St. Petersburg) - floating environmental robots will be tested on the reservoirs of St. Latin America. This was announced by Alexander Kapitonov, co-founder of Airalab, Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Control Systems and Robotics at ITMO University.

The project of a water drone that can automatically monitor the state of water has been around for about two years. The first prototype was assembled in Togliatti by Airalab Rus specialists together with Togliatti Solar Team from TSU. The project was intended to prove the viability of the idea, to reveal technical nuances during field experiments and to attract the attention of the public and business.
“We have a team, part of which is located in Togliatti, so the guys carried out their first experiments on the Volga,” says Alexander Kapitonov. “There they built the first prototype, equipped it with special sensors provided by the partners. With their help, an unmanned vessel can measure water pollution in reservoirs where there is no very fast flow. After that, for some time, the prototype monitored the environmental situation in the Volga.”
The development of floating drones is particularly difficult - due to waves and high water resistance, these devices require independent solutions for navigation and positioning. You cannot simply mechanically transfer systems from unmanned vehicles, robotic loaders, quadcopters and other similar systems operating on the ground or in the air.
“Data can be published to a remote location on the network: for example, in one of the experiments, data was sent to servers on the World Wide Web. At the same time, the published data are protected from counterfeiting using a combination of various tools using blockchain technology,” commented Ivan Petrov, CEO of AiralabRus.
This year, Airalab continues to work on robotization environmental activities, together with the children's technopark Quantorium-63 developing drones for collecting floating debris. The final task of the developers after testing on the rivers of the Northern capital and reservoirs of the Samara region will be to create a small fleet of drones capable of performing joint measurements on the water and conducting high-precision monitoring of the environmental situation.
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