1st RAMI Physical Campaign

for Marine Robots 2022, 10-15 July

We are pleased to announce the first Robotics for Asset Maintenance and Inspection (RAMI) Marine Robots competition that will be held at the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) in La Spezia, Italy, 10 ‒ 15 July 2022. The competition will challenge the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) of participant teams to accomplish Inspection & Maintenance tasks set in the CMRE protected seawater basin. AUVs will require perception, manipulation, adaptive mission planning and autonomous navigation skills to be successful.

The RAMI competition is organized in the framework of the METRICS project (Metrological Evaluation and Testing of Robots in International Competitions) and aims at addressing Inspection & Maintenance tasks achieved by aerial and underwater robots in risky and/or hostile environments where human intervention is challenging or impossible, where direct link with an operator could not be guaranteed and where autonomous decisions are necessary to reduce operational time of the inspection tasks and ensure repeatability while maintaining an appropriate safety level for the mission. The evaluation process of RAMI competitions mainly involves tasks related to autonomous navigation, data acquisition, detection, classification and autonomous decision-making for inspection purposes. Since aerial and underwater domains are very different, both domains will be evaluated separately in two different tracks.

The RAMI Marine Robots competition builds on the experience of the European Robotics League (ERL) Emergency competitions. The European Robotics League is an innovative concept for robot competitions which stems from its predecessors, the euRathlon and RoCKIn competitions, and focuses on tasks that emergency response robots execute in a realistic emergency environment. For more information about ERL, please visit https://eu-robotics.net/robotics_league/.

The RAMI Physical Campaign for Marine Robots 2022 will also be an ERL Emergency Local Tournament on the ERL Emergency Robots (ERL-ER) Season 2021-2022.

 

Competition

The RAMI marine competition tasks are inspired by the following user story.

A gas&oil offshore site has to be investigated after that a malfunction has been reported by the plant safety systems.

From what is known, a pipeline has started leaking and an explosion may occur soon.

A robotics team composed of underwater robots (AUVs) is ready to intervene.

It is time for the emergency team to act. The priorities are to reach the area of the accident, and to assess and quantify the entity of the leak. Then the robots have to reach the pipe assembly area for quantifying the damage to the plant and for identifying which pipe has been damaged and is responsible for the leak.

Finally, the robots must intervene on the plant itself by closing a valve to stop the leak to prevent the explosion and further damages to the environment.

The competition will be held in the CMRE seawater basin, offering the competitors a realistic setting.

Teams will be ranked on three different task benchmarks (TBMs) and three functionality benchmarks (FBMs).

The TBMs are:

  • TBM-1: Pipeline area inspection.
    • The AUV has to reach through autonomous navigation the area where the damage has been reported. Once in the area, the robot has first to assess the entity of the oil leak (represented by coloured buoys to be mapped) and then inspect the pipeline assembly structure to localize and quantify the damage on a pipe (a red marker).
  • TBM-2: Intervention on the pipeline structure.
    • The robot first has to assess the entity of the damage with direct measurements on the pipes (i.e. staying in touch with one pipe for some time). Then it has to reach the manipulation console, recognizing it through the detection of a black number over a red background. Finally, it has to close the valve present on the console and grab a pole-ring and bring that on the surface.
  • TBM-3: Complete I&M mission at the plant.
    • TBM-3 combines TBM-1 and TBM-2 and proposes a complete I&M mission at the plant.

Teams will use data collected during the TBMs to produce outputs to be evaluated for three FBMs:

  • FBM-1: mapping the area.
    • The robot has to map the position of the coloured buoys.
  • FBM-2: object recognition.
    • The robot has to recognize and identify the coloured buoys (position and colour).
  • FBM-3: shape recognition.
    • The robot has to identify the black colour over the red background located at the manipulation console and its dimensions.

1 underwater robot is needed for each TBM. The robot needs to be capable of navigating in unstructured environments, sense the environment with optical and acoustic sensors (for underwater) and manipulate valves and other objects.

The robot is required to work autonomously in all the tasks, however, it can be tele-operated during tasks involving manipulation. The scoring will reflect the level of autonomy, the higher level of autonomy, the higher the score

Rules

Participating Teams

The participating teams will be announced after the selection process. See “Call for participation” section for details on how to apply to RAMI 2022 Marine Robots.

Call for participation

Important dates

  • 30 May 2022 - Deadline for application Part 1

  • 10 June 2022 - Deadline for application Part 2

  • 20 June 2022 - Qualification announcement

  • 10 July 2022 - Competition begins

  • 15 July 2022 - Competition ends

Requirements

Please check the requirements for underwater vehicles on the resources menu.

Application procedure

Part 1:

Applicant teams must send an email to im@metricsproject.eu expressing their intention to participate in the campaign and providing the following information about the team (download templates and forms from the resource menu) by the first deadline:

Part 2:

For part 2, teams must provide the following documents (download below):

Selection Criteria

Teams will be selected for participation  based on:

  • Team research quality, as measured from the application documents.
  • Number of available slots for team participation in the tournament. On the basis of current COVID-19 policy in force at the moment of the event, a maximum number of teams could be set. In this case, this will be communicated to the teams in advance.

Venue

The RAMI Marine Robots 2022 will be hosted at NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, Italy.

Address

NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

Viale San Bartolomeo, 400,

La Spezia,

Italy

See https://sites.google.com/site/erlemergency2020laspezia/venue for the map

Travel information

Directions to reach NATO STO CMRE.

The RAMI Marine Robots 2022 edition will be held at the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation premises, located inside the Italian Navy base in La Spezia. Please be aware that, while there are no restrictions on the nationality of team members working on the robots at home, access to the competition site will be subject to the security regulations in force, which include restrictions on non NATO or non NATO-partners countries.

For more information on NATO Nations and partner countries, please visit: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/nato_countries.htm and https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/51288.htm

 

Sponsors

Important dates

  • 30 May 2022 - Deadline for application Part 1

  • 10 June 2022 - Deadline for application Part 2

  • 20 June 2022 - Qualification announcement

  • 10 July 2022 - Competition begins

  • 15 July 2022 - Competition ends

Due to the current situation, dates and information regarding the competition may change.

Organization

NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE)

Place and time

Seawater water basin at CMRE, La Spezia, Italy

10-15 July 2022

Organising committee

Chair

Dr Gabriele Ferri (CMRE, Italy)

Co-chairs

Alessandro Faggiani (CMRE, Italy)

Dr Tommaso Fabbri (CMRE, Italy)

Platinum sponsor

Bronze sponsor

Blue Robotics will provide one Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder as a special award.