The Underwater Swimming Manipulator - A Bio-Inspired AUV
Chapter, Conference object, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAutonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), 2016 IEEE/OES, IEEE conference proceedings 2016 ISBN 978-1-5090-2442-1. s. 387-395 10.1109/AUV.2016.7778701
Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have been used for environmental mapping and surveys of various kinds for some time. More recently, the AUVs have entered the domain of the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to tackle some of the lighter subsea operations, such as inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) and light intervention tasks. The successful transition to AUVs for inspection of subsea infrastructure has pushed the technology towards AUVs equipped with robotic arms. Some AUVs with attached manipulator arms have demonstrated autonomous light intervention, but the majority of such tasks are still carried out using tethered and expensive ROVs with support vessels. The underwater swimming manipulator (USM) presented in this paper, is a snake-like bio-inspired AUV with exceptional accessibility and flexibility, due to its slender, multi-articulated structure. In this paper, we discuss why the USM is an appropriate system for certain tasks that are normally carried out by conventional ROVs and AUVs. Furthermore, we address the topic of kinematic control of the USM to utilize the inherent redundancy. Finally, we present and make use of a newly developed and versatile simulation environment for USMs to assert the applicability of the USM for performing subsea inspections and light intervention.