This project is funded by the European Union

H2020 project (Finished) „Submarine cultures perform long-term robotic exploration of unconventional environmental niches“ (subCULTron; project ID 640967)

subCULTron aimed for achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area: Venice, Italy.

Our heterogeneous system consisted of 3 different agent types:

  • On the sea-ground, artificial mussels are the collective long-term memory of the system, allowing information to stay beyond the runtime of other agents, thus allowing to continue learning from previously learned states. These mussels monitor the natural habitat, including biological agents like algae, bacterial incrustation and fish.
  • On the water surface, artificial lily pads interface with the human society, delivering energy and information influx from ship traffic or satellite data.
  • Between those two layers, artificial fish move/monitor/explore the environment and exchange info with the mussels and lily pads.

Artificial mussels are novel class of underwater agents. We developed novel sensors (electric sense/electro-communication), novel bio-inspired algorithms (underwater hives) and novel energy harvesting in underwater scenarios. Our application field is a human- and animal-co-inhabited real-world environment of high impact: Venice canals & lagoon.

The projet ended November 2019.

Project Leader: Thomas Schmickl

Project Management: Gerald Radspieler, Ronald Thenius

Team: Ronald Thenius, Thomas Schmickl, Daniel E. Moser, Gerald Radspieler, Hannes Hornischer, Joshua Cherian Varughese

Duration: April 2015 to March 2019

Granted By: EU – 640967


  • University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing
  • Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
  • Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • Association pour la Recherche et le Developpement des Methodes et Processus Industriels
  • Corila – Consorcio per il Coordinamento delle Ricerche Inerenti al Sistema Lagunare di Venezia
  • Cybertronica UG (Haftungsbeschränkt) GmBH