MARINE AND SOFT ROBOTICS: INAUGURATION OF NEW CENTRE IN LIVORNO FOR MARINE ROBOTICS TO EXPAND EXPLORATION IN COASTAL AND UNDERWATEWR ENVIRONMENTS

On 9 June 2017 a new Sant’Anna School Centre for Research and Innovation on Marine Robotics was officially opened in Livorno - Scoglio della Regina. To speed development of robotic technologies, the Institute of Biorobotics of Sant’Anna School has expanded the Centre for Marine Robotics and Soft Robotics applications. The goal is to collaborate with industry, academic partners, and government agencies to improve design and control of soft-bodied underwater vehicles and monitor the marine environment.

The research centre was inaugurated in Livorno, by Professor Cecilia Laschi of the Biorobotics Institute, as part of the PIUSS project (Piani Integrati di Sviluppo Urbano Sostenibile). The Scoglio della Regina area was restored and named after Admiral Raimondo Pollastrini. The projects are centred on the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots operating in underwater environments. Recent advances in robotics are improving efficiency, lowering costs, and reducing the risks of marine operations in complex underwater infrastructure.

The Sant’Anna School scientists and engineers at the Scoglio della Regina will work with the Centro interuniversitario di biologia marina (Cibm), CNR scientists, Lamma Institute experts and the Capitaneria del porto di Livorno. Institutions have helped shape knowledge about the deployment of robotic systems and responded to the challenges posed by building anew in historic contexts and establishing a special protection for areas of architectural and historic interest.

«Upgrading the Livorno’s infrastructure is a key priority and will help to conduct world-leading research through a network of experimental facilities and laboratories - says Cecilia Laschi, professor at the Institute of Biorobotics, a leading researcher in soft robotics.

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