Smart and Networking Underwater Robots in Cooperation Meshes

The overall goal of the SWARMs project is to expand the use of underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs, ROVs, USVs) to facilitate the creation, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations and missions. This will reduce the operational costs, increase the safety of tasks and of involved individuals, and expand the offshore sector.

SWARMs project aims to make AUVs, ROVs and USVs further accessible and useful, making autonomous maritime and offshore operations a viable option for new and existent industries:

  • Enabling AUVs/ROVs to work in a cooperative mesh thus opening up new applications.
  • Increasing the autonomy of AUVs/USVs and improving the usability of ROVs for the execution of simple and complex tasks, contributing to mission operations’ sophistication.

The general approach is to design and develop an integrated platform for a new generation of autonomous maritime and underwater operations, as a set of software/hardware components, adopted and incorporated into the current generation of maritime and underwater vehicles in order to improve autonomy, robustness, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of the offshore operations.

The main specific objectives of SWARMS are:

  • Develop an environment characterization and coordination system.
  • Design the necessary infrastructure for monitoring and controlling underwater industrial operations by prioritizing the integration and interoperability among upcoming and legacy AUV/ROV systems.
  • A communication concept ensuring smooth functioning while also exploring new, innovative technologies based on acoustic underwater communication technologies to exchange information, and create a communication network between SWARMs elements.
  • Define and apply a methodology for designing new operations
    Test, validate and demonstrate the SWARMs platform solution, in different environmentally controlled scenarios.
Innovative SME

The SWARMs integrated platform allows creating, monitoring, controlling and managing the underwater industrial operations to autonomously (re)distribute, (re)configure, (re)synchronize and (re)plan them in real-time, depending on the situation raised during the operation execution. SWARMs platform is distributed among the different elements taking part in a mission:

  • The tele-operation tool
  • The distributed intermediation platform
  • The environment characterization and coordination components (underwater side)
  • The communication network and links

SWARMs’ achievements will be demonstrated in three field testing sites taking into account different scenarios and use cases:

  • Corrosion prevention in offshore installations
  • Monitoring of chemical pollution
  • Detection, inspection and tracking of plumes
  • Berm building
  • Seabed Mapping

SWARMs is an industry-led project: big technology companies will collaborate with SMEs specialized in the subsea, robotics and communication sectors and universities and research institutions to ensure that the newest innovations in subsea robotics will arrive fast to market. As voice of the customer, two end-users are also part of the consortium.


TTI tasks are mainly focused on activities related to communication and networking developments, contributing to the design and implementation of the radio communication sub-system between surface nodes and a (remote) command and control station as well as the definition of architecture for SWARMs and its communication requirements. Furthermore TTI will collaborate on the definition, description and analysis of the use-cases and will participate on system tests performance, integration and validation tasks in the three defined demonstrators.


Project facts

Duration: 36 months
Start date: July 2015

Partners: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SP), Acciona Infraestructuras (SP), Ixion Industry & Aerospace (SP), Tecnalia Research & Innovation (SP), Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (SP)- TTI Norte (SP), HI Iberia Ingeniería y Proyectos (SP), Robert Bosch (GE), Evologics (GE), ECA Robotics (FR), French Aerospace Lab ONERA (FR), THALES Research and Technology (FR), GS Lda (PG), Instituto de Telecomunicações Aveiro (PG), Universidade de Aveiro (PG), Stiftelsen SINTEF (NO), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO), Maritime Robotics (NO), Inventas Trondheim (NO), Water Linked (NO), DeepVision (SW), Mälardalen University (SW), TNO (DU), Science and Technology (DU) – TeamNet World Professional Services (RO), SC Autonomous Systems (RO), Desistek Robotik Elektronik Yazilim (TU), Sabanci University (TU), Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (IT), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (IT)

Call: Horizon 2020, ECSEL-2014-1 / ECSEL-01-2014: ECSEL Key Applications and Essential Technologies (RIA). This project is partially supported by the ECSEL JU and the Spanish Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda.
ECSEL Project number: 662107