How Project Maus discovers Schwentine

keel. Hansel and Gretel went on a cruise – and the smile on the faces of the Mouse research team on Friday afternoon is unimaginable. Hansel and Gretel are two mini-submarines that are to be converted into autonomous watercraft as part of a project at the Kiel University of Applied Sciences. And the team is close.

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Test mission at Schwentine near the Kiel University of Applied Sciences

Because today students and project staff are starting a test mission at Schwentine. Under the direction of an employee, Lukas Schäfer, the vehicles are prepared on the wharf near FH before the mission begins. First of all, this includes calibrating Gretel’s compass. Because that’s what the project is all about: navigation.

The team of mouse researchers is in a good mood: Hansel and Gretel are ready to dive at the Schwentine.

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“This is happening now, before the mission begins,” explains Schäfer. Małgosia has an accurate GPS, but she needs to find north. It will take a while. Since Małgosia is supposed to record large areas at Schwentine with sensors – and let Hansel know if something is wrong, so to speak, “drop the breadcrumbs,” says Schäfer.

Mouse Design: Hansel should take a closer look

Then Hansel should have a closer look at him. Because Hansel only navigates towards Małgosia, but he has an extremely precise 4K camera for taking sharp photos. Two very different boats should be able to explore the area together, but regardless of the steersman’s continual instructions. The mouse is the name of the project mobile andautonomy youUnderwaterssystem

“The mission can begin,” says Schäfer after Gretel stopped navigating. Using targeted movements, the young researchers throw both vehicles into Schwentine – before they circle the Schwentinegrund in search of finds, apparently by accident. Shopping trolley, camping chair, e-scooter: what cannot be discovered here ?!

Universities and companies from Schleswig-Holstein are involved

University of Applied Sciences professor Sabah Badri-Höher explains an ulterior motive: “It’s all about swarm technology.” The main goal of the mouse project is to connect, communicate and collaborate different technical systems independently. In fact, in science, only a system of three or more counts as a swarm. But the project would require more resources for this.

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But the Maus has already received 2.2 million euros. In addition to the Kiel University of Applied Sciences, the universities of Kiel and Lübeck are also involved, as well as the companies Emma and Subctech. Co-financing comes from the European Regional Development Fund Efre. But everyone involved in the project also contributes money, knowledge and technology.

Meanwhile, Hansel and Gretel, supposedly not very spectacular, make their way through the Schwentine like mowing a lawn. Strictly speaking, z G.retel i a speech. Małgosia is onG.oing “or a flowing boat – Hansel the”H.The awarist. “A look over Thomas Cimiega’s shoulder shows how the camera and sonar represent the Schwentine experience. In addition to the camping chair, you can also check the condition of the pier very carefully.

The technology goes back to Schleswig-Holstein: For every port

Badri-Höher explains that such a combination or set of several vehicles could be used for research purposes, for example in the case of Geomar. But also for the easy exploration of the harbor basin in every coastal city of Schleswig-Holstein. The technology is designed for a maximum water depth of 200 meters – SH waters offer no more.

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However, the goal is always for the technology to work on its own, autonomously. The various trailer partners offer another advantage: The costly technology can be split over several vehicles. If someone gets lost in the water, the financial loss is not that great.

The project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2023.

How far is the project? According to Badri-Höher, the crown pandemic started pompously in early 2019 and, with the support of Prime Minister Daniel Günther, was an extremely difficult period. In the meantime, however, the fixed technology or hardware is almost ready. First of all, there is still a lack of stable covers for vehicles. A programmed platform for collecting results already exists. Now you have to tune. It has been extended for one year at no cost.

“Today we can get some important data on this,” says Badri-Höher. Because with these discoveries, the collaboration between the two vehicles must be improved. “Because we are already autonomous,” says Badri-Höher, “but we are not yet working together.” It’s the same with technology as it is with humans: sometimes it’s harder to work together than alone.

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