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Aiming to join our idea on the future and the water, we made a project based on the work of the Sant’Anna Research Institute of Robotics Centre (CIBR), Pisa (Italy).

One of their purposes is to study and adapt robotic technologies to the sea environment,  for example  pollution detectors, underwater robots and so on. We interviewed one of the researchers.

We split our job into three branches, two of which are actually related to the CIBR.

The first branch is: WAVES FOR ENERGY

One of the  projects of  CIBR is  PolyWEC which stands for Polymeric Wave Energy Converter that is, basically, a power generator that uses the waves kinetic energy to produce electricity. The innovation of this system lies in the fact that CIBR is using a lightweight and economic polymeric material and the energy comes from the waves pressure instead that from the vertical motion of a mechanical piece.

This project is  being developed with a Portuguese partnership and comes from the PERCRO Lab (The Laboratory of Perceptual Robotics, part of the Scuola  Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy).

The second branch is: ROBOTICS UNDERWAVES

One of the most interesting projects of the centre is related to this study area and it’s called PoseiDRONE. The PoseiDrone is an underwater robotic octopus that can be used for many underwater applications, like checking some pipes status or in some cases fix them; this has sometime been hard to accomplish or even impossible with the traditional robots (only think about the problem to have a robot working in the sea environment, were water and salt affect any material..). The innovation of this robot is its soft structure that let it adapt itself to most of the possible scenarios.

Other robots have been developed in this lab like the V-Fides and the Hydronet, two kinds of robots that can autonomously move around the sea checking the pollution status and report it.

The third branch is: WAVES FOR FUN

As our city, Livorno, lies on the seaside, most of our life is related to the sea, where we can usually have fun in many ways, like surfing, and that’s why in our future we can’t look at the water without thinking of our sea, and the possible exploitation of the waves for tourism and sea-waves fans. An important school for surfer already attracts a lot of people from many parts of Italy – we hope it can develop with European tourism!

Look at the video of our friends surfing! You can’t stop the waves… but you can learn to surf.