• Title: MARIS: Marine Autonomous Robotics for InterventionS
  • Year: 2013
  • Programme: PRIN 2010-11
  • Funding: 1258628€
  • UNIGE Funding: 283736€


The general objective of the MARIS project is studying, developing and integrating, technologies and methodologies enabling the development of underwater robotic systems for manipulation and transportation activities. The reference scenarios are those typical of the off-shore industy, for the underwater search and rescue operations, as well as for the underwater scientific missions. Within such an ambitious objective, the proposing instituitions also intend to experimentally demonstrate, in the form proof-of-concept, the achievable operational capabilities, integrating the research results within real experimental systems.

Project Partners

Università di Genova

Coordinator - Coordinated control and tactile sensors skins


Mission planning and control techniques for multi agent systems

Università di Bologna

Design and development of robotic hands, including sensory aspects and control

Università di Parma

Vision techniques for object recognition and grasp planning

Università di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale

Weak coordination and range only localization

Università di Pisa

Acoustic communication framework

Università del Salento

Guidance and control


In order to achieve the ambitious general objective of the project, it is necessary to achieve some important advances within the integrated development of different enabling technologies and methodologies. In particular, the MARIS project aims at fulfilling the following goals:

  • Reliable guidance and control of the floating bases (during long-range motions) on a multi-sensory basis. This is done via the integration of inertial sensors, Doppler velocity measuring devices, external acoustic supports to localization (USBL or SSBL), as well as real-time SLAM techniques based on the sea-floor observations, and more generally of the submerged environment.
  • Construction of multi-modal maps via real-time SLAM, as also referred at the previous point.
  • Stereo-vision techniques for object recognitions and/or specific features recognition, including object position and pose estimation.
  • Advanced techniques for grasping and manipulation from a floating base, by part of each operating agent. Automatic reasoning for the reliable grasping and manipulation of objects, and related reactive control, based on visual, force/torque and possibly tactile sensing of the entire system. This must be done guaranteeing the safety of its operative conditions, with particular care for thegrasp keeping on a force-torque-tactile sensing basis.
  • Automatic methods for the execution of coordinated intervention operations by part of cooperative teams of floating manipulator systems, based on their mutual exchange of information, their mutual visualization and localization.
  • High level mission planning techniques, including the automatic decomposition and cooperative distribution of tasks among the agents, based on the mutual exchange of information.
  • Advanced underwater communication techniques among the agents to the aims expressed by both the previous points.

The MARIS project aims to coordinately develop all the reaserch activities above, allowing the achievement of the following specific objectives:

  1. Dexterity and agility for floating manipulator systems, individually or team operating.
  2. Experimental autonomous system "single floating manipulator".
  3. Experimental autonomous system "team of floating manipulators" .

Related Media

Dual Arm Transportation

This simulation shows an underwater vehicle endowed with two arms performing a transportation task, using the task priority control framework developed at GRAAL.

Cooperative Transportation

This simulation shows a preliminary simulation of a cooperative transportation carried out by two underwater floating manipulator systems, minimizing the communication load.

Related Publications

E. Simetti and G. Casalino. Manipulation and Transportation With Cooperative Underwater Vehicle Manipulator Systems. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering:1--18, December 2016.

E. Simetti and G. Casalino. A Novel Practical Technique to Integrate Inequality Control Objectives and Task Transitions in Priority Based Control. Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems:1--26, April 2016.

E. Simetti and G. Casalino. Whole body control of a dual arm underwater vehicle manipulator system. Annual Reviews in Control, volume 40:191--200, 2015.

D. Fenucci, A. Caiti, E. Simetti and G. Casalino. Underwater Communication Requirements in Coordinated Autonomous Manipulation: the MARIS Project. In Underwater Communications and Networking Conference (UCOMMS 2016), Lerici, Italy, August 2016.

G. Casalino, E. Simetti, N. Manerikar, A. Sperindé, S. Torelli and F. Wanderlingh. Cooperative Underwater Manipulation Systems Control Developments within the MARIS project. In IFAC Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles (NGCUV 2015) , Girona, Spain, April 2015.

E. Simetti, G. Casalino, N. Manerikar, A. Sperindé, S. Torelli and F. Wanderlingh. Cooperation between Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Manipulations Systems with Minimal Information Exchange. In OCEANS 15, pages 1--6, Genova, Italy, May 2015.

N. Manerikar, G. Casalino, E. Simetti, S. Torelli and A. Sperindé. On Cooperation between Autonomous Underwater Floating Manipulation Systems. In Underwater Technology 2015, Chennai, India, February 2015.

N. Manerikar, G. Casalino, E. Simetti, S. Torelli and A. Sperindé. On Autonomous Cooperative Underwater Floating Manipulation Systems. In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 15), Seattle, WA, May 2015.

G. Casalino, M. Caccia, A. Caiti, G. Antonelli, G. Indiveri, C. Melchiorri and S. Caselli. MARIS: a National Project on Marine Robotics for InterventionS. In MED 2014, Palermo, Italy, June 2014.

E. Simetti, G. Casalino, S. Torelli, A. Sperinde and A. Turetta. Underwater Floating Manipulation for Robotic Interventions. In IFAC World Congress 2014, pages 3358--3363, Cape Town, South Africa, August 2014.

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