Toward Smarter Underwater Autonomous Vehicles

ROUGHIE feature

The Nonlinear Autonomous System Laboratory was recently features across the web for the work with ROUGHIE. News outlets reporting on the robot include:

Science Daily:


A to Z Robotics:

Michigan Tech Researcher Nina Mahmoudian and her Team of Student Researchers are Working to Build a Better Autonomous Underwater Vehicle


“The news was not good. An underwater drone armed with the best technology on the planet had descended repeatedly to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, trying to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Time after time, it turned up nothing.

If Nina Mahmoudian has her way, the next generation of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) will have a much better chance of getting it right…”

Original article:

Tech Tour Day Four: Just Another Incredible Saturday Of MTU Research


“My next stop was at Michigan Tech’s remarkable $25 million, 50,000-square-foot Great Lakes Research Center, with Guy A. Meadows, its director, and Nina Mahmoudian, an assistant professor and research scientist at the center….

That’s where Mahmoudian and a $300,000 submersible robot comes in. She’s director of the Nonlinear and Autonomous System Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics department at Michigan Tech, where she develops algorithms to make the autonomous submersible vehicle smarter in dealing with problems like collision avoidance….”

Full Story:

Lake Superior Water Festival

Water Fesitval 2013

“High school students from the five western UP counties will spend today at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, learning about the Great Lakes, water research and careers they might consider in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Water Festival is sponsored by the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, based at Michigan Tech….”

Assistant Professor Nina Mahmoudian and her NASlab team introduced GUPPIE and ROUGHIE underwater swimmers.

Full Story:

Iver 3 Charts New Waters


“The uses of Iver are not just limited to behavior of currents, however. Nina Mahmoudian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and an expert on autonomous control of robots, is working with GLRC researchers to develop algorithms that will allow Iver to track long underwater features. “Those could be pipelines crossing the Great Lakes, or they could be underwater communication cables,” Meadows explained. “If we decided to develop offshore wind power systems in the Great Lakes, it could follow those power cables. Most importantly, it could check municipal water intakes.”

Full Story:

Great Lakes Research Center: One Year Old and Growing


“To do this, Tech will use a the first of a new generation of autonomous underwater vehicle provided by Enbridge—a $400,000 research effort with a piece of high-tech equipment that the GLRC will get to keep after the project is done. Nina Mahmoudian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, and a graduate student working with her will develop pipeline inspection algorithms based on data collected by the autonomous underwater vehicle.”

-Full Story:

SURFing for the Summer


“Hiking to waterfalls, enjoying the beaches of Lake Superior, getting ahead of schedule with summer classes—all things that a summer at Michigan Technological University has to offer. As it turns out, developing a new autonomous underwater glider is also on the list…”

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— SURFing for the Summer


“Through a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and the guidance of his mentor, Nina Mahmoudian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering–engineering mechanics, third-year mechanical engineering student Brian Page is working to develop two autonomous underwater gliders.  One is called a Glider for Underwater Problem-solving and Promotion of Interest in Engineering (GUPPIE). It’s about 18 inches long. The other is a Glider for Autonomous Littoral Underwater Research (GALUR) and measures about 3 feet in length….”

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Tech Students Help Patients in India Get a Leg Up

India Knee Project

“Assistant professors Mo Rastgaar and Nina Mahmoudian co-advised the team.

“We were impressed with the maturity and enthusiasm that the students showed throughout this process,” said Mahmoudian. “This wasn’t an easy design. The human factor and added challenge of working within cultural constraints took this project beyond a typical design….”

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