It all started when I met Marc
Chaumet Lagrange, head of the Hydrographic Department of the Port of Bordeaux. He
told me about his vision of a small craft that would carry out hydrographic surveys
on its own.
Right away, it sounded like a great project. A couple of months later, we were applying
for a grant for research and development from ANVAR.
With the help of the technicians and engineers of the Port of Bordeaux, we quickly designed the ship, and
ordered the different pieces of equipment.
The meat part of the project was the design of the autopilot of the boat. Differential
GPS information was integrated in a Kalman filter to provide a state estimate. H2
and H∞ control solutions were implemented. The boat was tested first in the
river, then near Pauillac where it faced strong wind and current pertubations.
Helen Loeb was on my team for three years while I headed the Dredging
Department of the Port of Bordeaux. She proved a great capacity to
synthesize, innovate on robotic aspects and integrate different systems.
She played a key role within the multidisciplinary team, making her
organizational and communication skills very valuable.
She received high honors for her thesis in robotics. I hold her human,
intellectual and professional qualities in high esteem.
-- Marc Chaumet-Lagrange, July 2009.