Universitat Jaume I
The main part of expected activities to develop by MIR students are depending of facilities of the two groups of Robotics working at UJI: IRS-Lab and RobInLab. Summarizing, IRS-Lab is devoted to underwater robotics activities, as principal line of research, meanwhile RobinLab is more focused on other robotics application domains (land and air). Both groups are injecting AI technology for improving the robot capabilities in real domains.
In particular, the experience developed by the IRS-Lab in the context of underwater robotics would focus on:
- Wireless underwater communications,
- both acoustic and radio frequency;
- Image compression algorithms;
- HRI systems including immersive methods based on Virtual and Augmented Reality;
- Development of the UWSim underwater simulator;
- Supervised control of teleoperated systems.
In relation to these aspects and in addition, that of robotic manipulation, the following resources are available on the UJ Campus:
- an underwater manipulator and
- a significant number of different sensors (eg cameras, lasers, tactile and force sensors, etc.), as well as a “water tank” for real tests under controlled conditions.
As for vehicles, the SeaBotix ROV is available with umbilical capable of accessing 200 m deep, equipped with vision and manipulator, as well as other vehicles with lower performance (e.g. OpenROV, BlueROV).
On the other hand, with respect to the investigation in immersive techniques of Virtual and Augmented Reality, in addition to the UWSim simulator, HTC and Oculus systems are available, among other resources. Regarding wireless communications, acoustic and radio frequency modems are available.
Finally, it is noticeable that during 2018, the IRS-Lab has won a call for infrastructure of the regional government (GVA) financed with FEDER funds (IDIFEDER / 2018/013). Fruit of which, a consortium called CIRTESU (RESEARCH CENTER IN ROBOTICS AND UNDERWATER TECHNOLOGIES) has been launched. This project works with two years of equipment financing (2018 and 2020) and one year (2019) with infrastructure financing. Thus, at the end of this year the research center building (on a plot of 500 m2) will be completed, which will contain, among other things, a 12x8x5 m water tank, which allows 480 m3 of capacity and, thanks to the glass armored from one of the walls of the base, the evolution of the experiments of underwater interventions to be implemented with the available equipment can be monitored in real time. Moreover, a “Girona-500” AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) from Iqua Robotics SL has been acquired during 2018, thanks to this call.
Regarding Accommodation, the International Office (ORI) provides advice to international students offering different accommodation options: Campus residence at the University, another opportunity for housing provided by UJI is the Family Program. Within the Family Program, international students live with a Spanish family in Castellon. The ORI has made available more than 70 families who are willing to provide housing and maintenance to incoming students, whilst also integrating them into their family. The ORI oversees establishing contact between the families and the students and keeping check throughout the students stay. The ORI also makes different initiatives throughout the program such as the Family and Friends Activity, which promotes cultural interchange between international students and families. The UJI also provides an accommodation directory where local property owners can post their ads for their houses and students can rent/share a room/flat. Lastly, there are Facebook groups (i.e. Accommodation Erasmus Castellón) and WhatsApp groups where students can also find housing opportunities. In the matter of Healthcare, the UJI members have access to a Medical Centre on campus, which provides primary care for health problems. This centre has medical and nursing staff, and also provides psychological support. Regarding Visa matters, the ORI issues certificates for incoming students who have been selected under our exchange programs and offers help in advising questions about Visa requirements and procedure. The UJI offers many opportunities to create the best integration possible for interchange students. Starting with the Mentor Program, also commonly known as the Buddy Program, which is a project that establishes contact between international students and students from the home university. The ORI will match the mentors and mentees based on their preferences and studies. The Spanish students start by communicating with the international ones, via email or phone, and thus begin a relationship, most of the time, before the foreign students arrive in Castellon. The mentor is a Spanish friend that will help the new student understand the Spanish culture and educational system. It is a great way of getting to know the city and the places to visit. The ORI plan different activities for international students such as welcoming days for interchange students as well as outer-city and university campus guided tours. The International Relations Office will also help throughout the application and enrolment process. Continuing with the topic of integration, the UJI provides Spanish courses for the incoming students, beginning at the start of the semester.
Students’ living costs per month are about 400 euros, which includes accommodation and living expenses. Students can also take advantage of cut-price bus fares on public transport around the town and discounts in the campus refectories. The university faculties at the UJI have cafés where you can enjoy comprehensive and varied set meals for an approximate price of 5 euros. Bars, cafés and supermarkets are located around the campus. Here is an estimate of your possible monthly living expenses:
- Accommodation (electricity, Internet, etc., included) and meals:
Shared flat: €150-250/month (rental) + €200/month on meals = total of €350-450/month
With a family: €460/month (full board)
- Transport: €25-35/month
- Personal expenses: €200/month
The Universitat Jaume I counts with a Welcome Desk for international students and researchers in the International Office that will help you both in the process prior to your arrival at the University and in the process of adaptation. Upon your arrival at UJI, the International Office organises information talks, cultural weeks and leisure activities, among others, which will help you integrate with the university community and the city of Castelló. Castelló is a small city with a wide range of accommodation options and a cost of living lower than in large cities. Comparison between Castelló and other cities of the monthly average cost of a shared flat: Castelló: €180; Valencia: €280 ; Barcelona: €400. There are various accommodation options in Castelló: renting a flat, sharing a flat, university halls of residence, living with a family, etc. The UJI manages an online accommodation directory to help you with your search, and various programmes that may be of interest to you.