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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1673;

I-AUV Docking and Panel Intervention at Sea

Centre d’Investigació en Robótica Submarina (CIRS), Computer Vision and Robotics Institute, Universitat de Girona, Girona 17071, Spain
Interactive and Robotic Systems Laboratory (IRSLab), Universitat Jaume I, Castelló 12071, Spain
Systems Robotics and Vision Group, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca 07122, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 28 September 2016 / Accepted: 30 September 2016 / Published: 12 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vision-Based Sensors in Field Robotics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1171 KB, uploaded 12 October 2016]   |  


The use of commercially available autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) has increased during the last fifteen years. While they are mainly used for routine survey missions, there is a set of applications that nowadays can be only addressed by manned submersibles or work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) equipped with teleoperated arms: the intervention applications. To allow these heavy vehicles controlled by human operators to perform intervention tasks, underwater structures like observatory facilities, subsea panels or oil-well Christmas trees have been adapted, making them more robust and easier to operate. The TRITON Spanish founded project proposes the use of a light-weight intervention AUV (I-AUV) to carry out intervention applications simplifying the adaptation of these underwater structures and drastically reducing the operational cost. To prove this concept, the Girona 500 I-AUV is used to autonomously dock into an adapted subsea panel and once docked perform an intervention composed of turning a valve and plugging in/unplugging a connector. The techniques used for the autonomous docking and manipulation as well as the design of an adapted subsea panel with a funnel-based docking system are presented in this article together with the results achieved in a water tank and at sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous underwater vehicles; manipulation; underwater intervention; field robotics autonomous underwater vehicles; manipulation; underwater intervention; field robotics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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    Description: We have added links to two online videos (youtube) in which the main trials defined in the article can be seen: VIDEO1: VIDEO2:

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Palomeras, N.; Peñalver, A.; Massot-Campos, M.; Negre, P.L.; Fernández, J.J.; Ridao, P.; Sanz, P.J.; Oliver-Codina, G. I-AUV Docking and Panel Intervention at Sea. Sensors 2016, 16, 1673.

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