Bilal Ghader

PhD student

Funding : PACA Region  – NotiloPlus

E-mail :  at


After an Engineering Diploma at the American University of Beirut, and an M.Sc. from Georgia Tech, I have joined the COSMER Team to work on human-robot underwater interaction.



Subject of the thesis: 

Thesis director : Vincent HUGEL (COSMER Lab)
Co-Director of thesis : Eric WATELAIN (IAPS Lab)
Co-supervisors : Claire DUNE (COSMER Lab), Jeremy NICOLAS (NOTILO PLUS)

In the last few years, underwater robots are becoming more and more affordable and accessible to the public. But the nature of underwater environments raises many challenges to human-robots interaction that are either not solved or not present in an airborne environment.

In an underwater environment, some of the communication methods and mediums are not technically available in a reliable manner due to the different nature. Hence, the mediums of human-robot interactions are reduced.  This is why most of these robots are ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operated from a boat on the water surface with an umbilical cord.

However, some of these robots are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (UAV), which means they operate without any connection to a surface boat. Of course, in presence of a human in proximity sets a significant challenge on the operation of these robots.

The company NOTILO PLUS have developed several underwater drones, the human-robots interaction is done via an infrared remote. However, this interaction remains limited to a set of predefined commands.

The project aims to explore the possibility of giving more cognitive to make human-robot interactions as intuitive as possible.

Technically speaking that means enabling the AUV to:

  1. Detect, locate, and track the diver underwater
  2. Understand a set of basic gesture for underwater interaction
  3. Detect possible signs of health problems, and raise an alert when needed