Project name: Heterogeneous autonomous robotic system in viticulture and mariculture
Project acronym: HEKTOR
Dates: 13.03.2020 - 31.03.2023
Total budget: 5.794.060,14 HRK
Funding: ESI ERDF - European Regional Development Fund
Website: http://hektor.fer.hr/


The main objective of the HEKTOR project is to provide a systematic solution for the coordination and cooperation of smart heterogeneous robots/vehicles (marine, land, and air) capable of autonomously collaborating and distributing tasks in open unstructured space/waters.

HEKTOR is conceived as a modular and autonomous system, adapted for various missions in viticulture and mariculture with the anticipated possibility of human intervention while performing various work, inspection, and intervention tasks.

The purpose of the project in the part of viticulture is to try for the first time in Croatia to incorporate "robotic systems" in the wine-growing technology, especially on extremely steep, demanding terrains where only manual labor has been applied so far.

The purpose of the project in the mariculture discipline is to attempt for the first time in Croatia to include in the process of fish cage farming "robotic systems" for the automated monitoring of fish cages. This job now requires the long work of divers in all, even the harshest of weather conditions. In addition, the obligation of environmental protection and constant monitoring of the status around and below the cage in mariculture necessarily requires measurements of all relevant parameters and sampling from the bottom (sediment) and in the water column. The proposed HEKTOR robotic system will enable these activities to reduce the need for divers, thus increasing the safety of the production process and directly protecting the health of workers.

The results achieved in both of these disciplines would contribute to the faster development of sparsely populated areas (island, karst, etc.) and stop population migration while contributing to sustainable development and environmental protection.

The project is a joint action of three institutions. The University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing is the project coordinator, and project partners are the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research of the University of Dubrovnik.

Project task – CROMARIS

On October 8, 2020, members of the project team visited CROMARIS fish farm (Kali, Ugljan) to collect field data needed for the development of algorithms using the equipment procured within the project (BlueEye ROV underwater vehicle).

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) recorded visual data from the air, and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) visual and sonar data on the appearance of cages under the sea. The data collected by the UAVs will be used to solve the problem of biomass estimation in cages, detection of damage or displacement of cages, rope damage, etc. after storms, while the AUV will collect data to further solve the problem of estimating fish mortality, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH values, detection of damage to the network and fouling on the networks, cleaning of the networks, inspection of anchors and ropes, etc.

Photos available in the HEKTOR website gallery.

Author: Ana Golec
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