Modeling of underwater swimming manipulators
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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For several decades, the traditional ROV has been the workhorse used for any kind of subsea operations. The industry is now facing an important shift towards more economical and more efficient operations on subsea installations. To this end, there has been an increasing interest in smaller and lighter vehicles capable of performing autonomous tasks. In this paper we present the underwater swimming manipulator (USM), a hyper-redundant AUV with the potential to replace traditional ROVs and AUVs for routine inspection and lighter intervention tasks. We develop a mathematical model of the USM, including both kinematics and dynamic equations of motion. In addition, we present a generic force allocation method for USMs and the derivation of the configuration dependent force allocation matrix. The applicability of the proposed allocation method for path following control of USMs are demonstrated through computer simulations.