As well as a third sector organization, for a competition team it is essential to have resources for the sustainability of its project. When we talk about resources, it is more than just in the financial sense, but also includes human capital and materials needed to carry out its activities. However, more than goodwill and the effort of its members, the economic and financial viability of the project is fundamental, and with that, it is worth highlighting here, the importance of funding for scientific research and the implementation of different projects, in the case of UFRJ Nautilus, innovation in the field of submersibles and automation systems.
Currently, with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we have seen in practice the role of research and how fundamental it is to society. It is no mystery, then, that investing in science and technology is crucial for the evolution of a country. Here we treat the concept of scientific research as a set of methodological processes in order to generate new knowledge and development for society as a whole. Thus, investment, whether private or state, in science and technology not only promotes job creation and innovation in the industry, but also, and, mainly, can be converted to an improvement in the quality of life and well-being of the population. Therefore, it is what we can call a feedback system, in which investment in science triggers technological production, which in turn will serve as an engine for economic and social development.
At Nautilus, we have members from different areas of knowledge who are constantly looking for the development of cutting edge technology and innovation for the development of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle - AUV. So we have not only to design and build autonomous underwater vehicles, but also to develop different technological applications in a continuous advance in the areas of robotics and automation systems. In one of our articles posted on our UFRJ website Nautilus “Lung ventilators at UFRJ and Nautilus - Drawing a Parallel”, it is possible to understand how the knowledge and techniques worked in the development of an AUV can be applied in different projects, including the development of equipment for the health area.
However, what is the importance of the development and construction of the AUV itself? Different than a Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV), the AUV does not need to be connected to a vessel by cables, programmed to go to and from a planned location. More than cutting costs operation and reducing the environmental impact, the autonomous underwater robot is capable of collecting and store data in deep waters and areas considered inhospitable to humans. With this, eliminates the need for human action or support vessel, reducing the risk of personal security. Its application can take place in different activities, such as to help in oceanographic research, environmental monitoring, wreckage detection, military use and, mainly, oil and gas exploration under the sea.
However, despite the advantages of using an AUV in research and monitoring submarines, in Brazil the development in this area is still very recent, with few studies about underwater robotics. Demanding knowledge in artificial intelligence, processing of images and acoustic signals, the preparation of an AUV in the UFRJ team Nautilus consists of its structural design until the manufacture of mechanical components of the submarine robot, which is totally developed by its members with the resources of our sponsors. With that, there is a great internal mobilization for the constitution of partnerships that can contribute to the guarantee of team activities and the fulfillment of our mission. That is, both individuals and organizations interested in our cause and which understand its importance in the country's current political and economic situation. UFRJ Nautilus is still the first and only team in South America to compete internationally at RoboSub, the biggest AUV’s competition that takes place in San Diego, USA. Therefore, more than contribute to the professional training of these students, it is also an opportunity to invest for the development of cutting edge technology and innovation in the field of automation.
“We care a lot about differentiating ourselves in everything. For Nautilus, being good is not enough and everything that leaves our laboratory should be proud of ”
Written by Karen Brêda