Maritime Robotics and Instrumentation Laboratory (MRIL)

Please fill this form to request access/use of the MRIL.

Overview of group:

  • We own and operate various marine robotic platforms and deep-sea imaging units
  • We conduct 6-10 field trials a year, primarily to support marine science and to demonstrate new technology/operating concepts
  • We offer commercial survey and data processing services by contract and are open to other forms of collaboration
  • We support robotics education, and have developed various robotic teaching platforms that are used in “Maritime Robotics”, “Offshore Engineering & Analysis” and “Intelligent Mobile Robotics” modules taught at the University of Southampton

The MRIL is located on the Highfield Campus (Building 9 Room 1047) and is equipped with the following facilities:

  • Testing & calibration tank [4.3x2.5x1.4m] with side viewing ports 1tonne gantry crane
  • Clean room [3x2m] for electronics and optical assembly and planned upgrade for laser interlock
  • 2 up-box 3d printers for rapid prototyping
  • Motion capture systems for on-land and in-water robotic experiments
  • Two reconfigurable working bays with storage modules
  • Direct car access with garage
  • Chemicals and hazardous materials storage cabinet

Ocean deployable platforms and sensors

  • Smarty200 - 200m depth-rated modified Sparus II AUV (Iqua robotics) equipped with seafloor imaging and laser scanning (Voyis RECON), DVL/INS (Sonardyne Sprintnav-mini), USBL (Sonardyne AVTrack Nano) and surface iridium. Platform endurance ~10h. Dimensions L2.0 x 0.3 x 0.3, weight 70kg. Download Specification
  • Driftcam “Floaty McFloatface” - 200m depth rated Lagrangian Imaging Floats capable of strobe illuminated stereo-photogrametry and constant altitude keeping over rugged terrains and dedicated software to predict drifts based on global current estimates. Equipped with USBL (Sonardyne AVTrack Nano), and  iridium on separate trickle charged power source. Platform endurance ~10day with iridium transmission up to 1 year. Dimensions L1.2 x 0.3 x 1.2, weight 70kg
  • Ecosub5μ x 5 - 500m depth rated Micro AUVs. Download specification
  • Hyball2020 - Modified Hyball ROV with dual camera (downward and diagonal down) and optional manipulator. Modified with modern electronics, including onboard processing and topside interface via ethernet and controll using gaming controller. Powered using standard 13 amp wall socket via 300m tether.
  • CCat3 - ASV (L3 Harris, formerly ASV Global), 3m long ASV weight 320kg. 3.5knot cruising speed and 6-8h endurance. Download specification
  • BioCam x 2: 4000m depth rated high resolution stereo camera system with dual LED strobes and dual laser s for seafloor 3d visual mapping. Developed as part of the NERC Oceanids programme together with Sonardyne International Ltd. Main camera unit dimensions [LxBxH] 50x15x31.2cm, weight 33kg. Previously mounted on Autosub6000 and ALR6000 (a.k.a. Boaty Mcboatface). Download specification
  • Micro-ranger: USBL topside (Sonardyne) for tracking submersibles at up to 995m range. Download specification

Platforms for education

  • Smarty ASV: Small ASV with 4 vectored thrusters capable of dynamic positioning using Qualysis and AR tag location feeds. Equipped with 3 axis IMU compass, endurance 3h.
  • Smarty mooring: Small moored platform equipped with load-cell for monitoring tension on mooring lines attached to it. Equipped with internal compass, endurance 5h.
  • SmartCat x 5: Small differential thrust actuated catamarans used for teaching on “Maritime Robotics”. Equipped with 3 axis IMU and parsing position information using Qualysis and AR tag location feeds, endurance 2h.
  • WheelySmart x 5: Small wheeled robots used for teaching on “Intelligent Mobile Robotics”. Equipped with 3 axis IMU and parsing position information using AR tag location feeds. Equipped with 2d lidar for use in SLAM, endurance 3h.