Project outline

Project duration:

January 2020 - December 2022

Project participants:

Graphic project outline of the project “RoBiMo” with the swimming robot “Elisabeth” in the water. The robot is equipped with a multi-parameter sensor chain and a sonar, and it communicates with a base station on the bank.


As part of the RoBiMo project, a measuring system for the complex, locally resolved acquisition of selected water and environmental parameters will be developed with the aid of an autonomous robot system that is controlled by a base station. The system, designed to continuously record 3D, spatially resolved parameters at regular intervals, will initially be applied in stagnant inland waters. At the start, the swimming robot “Elisabeth” of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg will be extended and employed for the undertaking.

The aim is a modular use of the system to be developed for the high-quality and high-resolution acquisition of a broad spectrum of limnological, biochemical/biophysical parameters. This includes water respiration, hydrographic profiles as well as special tasks. Respiration is coupled with live load, which the SEMACH-FG system with on-line IRGA, also developed in Freiberg, uses for real-time detection of CO2. Further gases are then recorded via automatic sampling. For hydrographic profiles and various special tasks, the measured value acquisition will be carried out on a winch system deploying a newly developed measuring chain of sensor elements (i.a. temperature, pH value, conductivity, pressure, gas and solid components, e.g. microplastics).

The platform is navigated autonomously from a base station on the bank with a network-independent connection. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality methods are used to evaluate and visualize the results. Scientific divers then compare the measured data with in-situ measurements, and can also manipulate sensors in a targeted manner. Furthermore, water and sediment samples are taken at different depths and areas. This enables local phenomena (groundwater access, changes in geology) to be specifically examined and assessed. With the samples taken, additional water parameters can be determined through laboratory analyses.

The results are applied to form a basis for automated water monitoring, as well as to develop and test methods and approaches. Results that can be derived from this are used in hydrology/limnology, environmental technology as well as robotics and computer science. In the project, junior researchers collaborate on an interdisciplinary basis as part of their doctoral studies, thus creating additional added value, the results of which will be freely available. Due to the complex research question and the wide range of scientific tasks, the young research group of the ESF-funded project is composed of different specialist areas. To this end, the Institute for Electronics and Sensor Materials, the Chair for Technical Thermodynamics, the Scientific Diving Center, the Study Group for Geoecology and Geochemistry, the Institute for Geology and the Institute for Computer Science join forces. In addition to the technical training of the doctoral students, additional social qualifications in the areas of project and conflict management, communication skills as well as participation in teaching are part of the project portfolio.

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