Visual Inspection of Vessels Cargo Holds: Use of a Micro-Aerial Vehicle as a Smart Assistant
This paper describes a Micro-Aerial Vehicle (MAV) intended for the visual inspection of cargo holds, whose development, among others, takes place within the context of the EU-funded H2020 project ROBINS, with the purpose of making ship inspections safer and more cost-efficient. To this end, the vehicle is equipped with specific sensors that are to permit teleporting the surveyor to the areas that need inspection, while the focus of the control software is on providing enhanced functionality and autonomy for the inspection processes. All this has been accomplished in the context of the supervised autonomy paradigm, by means of the definition of different autonomy levels and functionalities (including obstacle detection and collision prevention), and extensive use of behaviour-based high-level control, all intended for visual inspection as already mentioned. Automatic detection of defects is also addressed as part of ROBINS goals, through the adoption of deep learning approaches for enhanced performance. Results for some experiments conducted to assess the different functionalities are reported at the corresponding sections of the paper.