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Floating Sensorised Networked Robots for Water Monitoring (HydroNet)
Start date: Dec 1, 2008, End date: Jan 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Water is one of our most precious and valuable resources. It is important to determine how to fairly use, protect and preserve water. New strategies and new technologies are needed to assess the chemical and ecological status of water bodies and to improve the water quality and quantity. The relatively recent progress in micro-electronics and micro-fabrication technologies has allowed a miniaturization of sensors and devices, opening a series of new exciting possibilities for water monitoring. Moreover, robotics and advanced ICTbased technology can dramatically improve detection and prediction of risk/crisis situations, providing new tools for the global management of the water resources. The HydroNet proposal is aimed at designing, developing and testing a new technological platform for improving the monitoring of water bodies based on a network of autonomous, floating and sensorised mini-robots, embedded in an Ambient Intelligence infrastructure. Chemo- and bio-sensors, embedded in the mobile robots will be developed and used for monitoring in real time physical parameters and pollutants in water bodies. Enhanced mathematical models will be developed for simulating the pollutants transport and processes in rivers, lakes and sea. The unmanaged, self-assembling and self-powered wireless infrastructure, with an ever-decreasing cost per unit, will really support decisional bodies and system integrators in managing water bodies resources. The robots and sensors will be part of an Ambient Intelligence platform, which will integrate not only sensors for water monitoring and robot tasks execution, but also communications backhaul systems, databases technologies, knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) processes for extracting and increasing knowledge on water management. Following the computation on stored data, feedback will be sent back to human actors (supervisors, decision makers, industrial people, etc.) and/or artificial actuators, in order to perform actions.
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