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SMART-AGENTS; NWO Smart Industry grant for Kottapalli and Jayawardhana

01 May 2020

Within the second Smart Industry round, NWO has awarded three projects. This programme specifically addresses cross cutting science challenges at the intersection of user-centered customisation, big data technologies, autonomous systems, smart systems and smart equipment. In the Smart Industry programme, scientists work together with companies on themes where big data, smart industry and creative industry intersect.

One of the awarded projects is the research proposal on SMART-AGENTS (Swarm collaborative Multi-Agent cybeR physical sysTems with shAred sensinG modalitiEs, 5G commuNication and micro-elecTromechanical Sensor arrays). In this project ENTEG researchers A.G.P Kottapalli and B. Jayawardhana will collaborate with Kerstin Bunte and Michael Wilkinson (computer science, Bernoulli institute, RUG) and industrial partners. The project proposes a new multi-drone scenario to create a collaborative network. This system will be demonstrated in two industrial environments, logistics and agriculture, for counting inventory in a warehouse and monitoring plants in greenhouses, respectively.

The ENTEG team of researchers led by Kottapalli and Jayawardhana will develop arrays of biomimetic miniaturized, low-cost, flexible and sensitive polymer cilia flow sensors that can offer artificial vision to drones and enable schooling behavior among multiple drones through active manipulation of the flow profile. Blind cavefish that survives in deep-waters, is bestowed with the finest set of flow sensors called neuromasts that enable the fish to detect minute water flow disturbances down to 1mm/s. Although blind, the fish accomplishes impressive tasks like hydrodynamic vision, super-maneuverability, and energy-efficient locomotion by relying upon the ‘lateral-line’ which comprises arrays of hair-like ‘cilia’ sensors present on their skin. Inspired by the hydrodynamic flow imaging functionalities of the ultrasensitive lateral-line sensors in fishes, the team proposes to develop flexible and surface-mountable arrays of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) flow sensors capable of creating a 3D flow-based image of surroundings of an aerial vehicle (drones) even in dark and hazy conditions.

Last modified:01 May 2020 11.25 a.m.

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