StrathVoyager wins team spirit at Njord Marine Autonomy Challenge

The StrathVoyager, an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV), designed by the Marine Robotics Society (MRS), uses a LiDAR Sensor supplied by Digiflec.

Congratulations to the StrathVoyager team from the University of Strathclyde for their outstanding performance at the Njord Marine Autonomy Challenge at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. Despite competing against teams from various countries, the team’s dedication and teamwork earned them the Team Spirit Award.

The StrathVoyager team is part of the Marine Robotics Society (MRS), a student-led organisation that focuses on robotics and autonomous systems in the maritime environment. The society’s main project is the development of the StrathVoyager, an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) designed to navigate challenges such as path following, obstacle avoidance, and berthing.

The StrathVoyager ASV features a modular catamaran design, allowing for easy upgrades and repairs. The team integrated various sensors, including a 3D camera, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and a LiDAR sensor, with data processed by an onboard Nvidia Jetson computer.


Photographed by Magnus McIntosh

Supported by an academic discount by Digiflec

Digiflec supported the StrathVoyager team by providing a discount on the Ouster LiDAR sensor and guidance on its use. The team found working with the LiDAR sensor exciting and challenging, as they had to learn its features and capabilities to integrate it into their system.

The team used Python to communicate with the sensor, initialising the Ouster LiDAR and working with the point cloud data. The Ouster LiDAR’s lightweight design was particularly beneficial for the compact StrathVoyager vessel.

Due to time constraints, the team could only fully explore some of the LiDAR sensor’s capabilities before the 2023 Njord Challenge. However, they plan to research the advantages of the sensor’s additional features, such as reflectivity, signal, and near-IR, in maritime scenarios.

The StrathVoyager team’s future plans include integrating LiDAR with Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms to improve environmental sensing and create detailed maps for accurate vessel positioning.

Digiflec is proud to have supported the StrathVoyager team and remains committed to advancing academic research by providing discounts to educational institutions. We look forward to following the team’s progress in marine autonomy and the 2024 Njord Marine Autonomy Challenge.

Congratulations again to the StrathVoyager team for their success!

Photos are courtesy of Paul Lee

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