A team of postgraduate students from the Sensor-based Cooperative Robotics Laboratory (SCORE Lab), Faculty of Science and Technology (FST), University of Macau (UM), recently received a first prize in the first Zhuhai Wanshan International Intelligent Vessel Competition. During the event, the UM team beat 10 teams with its autonomous navigation technology for unmanned surface vessels (USVs).
The competition received applications from more than 20 universities and research institutes in different countries, including the United States, Singapore, and India. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the organiser eventually shortlisted eleven outstanding teams from institutions in China, including Dalian University of Technology, Southeast University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shenyang Institute of Automation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuyi University, Ocean University of China, Sun Yat-sen University, Dalian Ocean University, Wuhan University of Technology, and UM.
All participating teams were required to use a unified intelligent boat platform to complete certain tasks, including autonomous navigation, intelligent obstacle avoidance, target recognition, parking, as well as emergency rescue at sea. In one of the tasks, the vessel needed to pass through five waypoints arranged in an M-shaped path. Under the guidance of Prof Carlos Silvestre, and the leadership of Dr Joel Reis, PhD students Yu Gan and Xie Wei developed a motion control application for autonomous navigation of a USV. The strategy engineered by the UM team surpassed all other participating teams in terms of tracking accuracy. During the awards ceremony, their performance was praised by head of the competition’s software department, who remarked that the accuracy of the USV of the UM team was unprecedented.
The Zhuhai Wanshan International Intelligent Vessel Competition was jointly held by Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) and Zhuhai Wanshan Marine Testing Field under the guidance of China Classification Society and Guangdong Provincial Association for Science and Technology, with assistance from Sun Yat-Sen University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, UM, and Wuhan University of Technology.
參賽隊伍需採用統一的智能船艇作平台進行比賽，內容包括模擬海上航行、海上應急救援等應用場景，考驗參賽者的自主航行、智能避障、目標識別、停泊等技術能力。比賽期間，船隻更需通過五個M字形路徑佈置的航路點。在科技學院教授Carlos Silvestre指導及博士Joel Reis領導下，博士生余甘和謝威開發及編寫了用於自動導航的運動控制應用程式，令船隻在跟蹤準確性上，遠超於其他參賽隊伍。過程中更獲主辦方軟件部門主管賞識，在頒獎典禮上讚揚澳大團隊在無人水面船艇操控的準確性是前所未有。