Special Issue "Advances in Underwater Robotics"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Conte
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
Interests: algebraic and geometric methods in control; hybrid systems; underwater robotics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Robotics has long established itself as the key technology for the exploration and exploitation of the underwater environment, as well as for all or almost all other activities that are performed under the sea surface. Underwater robotic vehicles, either remotely operated or autonomous, and robotic platforms are now commercially available and widely used in oceanography, environmental monitoring, marine biology, underwater archaeology, the subsea oil and gas industry, deep sea mining, marine farming and aquaculture, naval warfare, maritime transport and communication security, maritime installation maintenance, and recreational activities at sea. 

The importance and richness of resources for the development of human activities in the underwater environment and its intrinsic hostility motivate and challenge science and technology to conceive and construct ever more efficient robotic tools and techniques. In particular, there is a great demand for advances that may increase the functional and behavioral autonomy of underwater robots, facilitate human/machine interaction in the underwater environment, simplify the operability of complex platforms, reduce costs, and increase safety, reliability and efficiency.  

The objective of this Special Issue is to facilitate the understanding of challenges and needs and to provide visibility for recent breakthroughs in underwater robotics. The achievement of this objective will contribute to improving the state-of-the-art and to promoting further advances in the area, as well as to open the way to new viable applications.

In a specific formulation for the underwater environment or for underwater applications, topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Vehicles and drones
  • Swarm of heterogeneous robotic agents
  • Cyber–physical systems
  • Manipulation
  • Robot sensing and communication
  • M/M interaction
  • Planning and mission control
  • Decision support and safe operation
  • Educational and recreational robotics
  • Applications (monitoring, mapping, search and rescue, mine countermeasures, etc.)

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Conte
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
FludoJelly: Experimental Study on Jellyfish-Like Soft Robot Enabled by Soft Pneumatic Composite (SPC)
Robotics 2019, 8(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8030056 - 15 Jul 2019
Several bio-inspired underwater robots have been demonstrated in the last few years that can horizontally swim using different smart actuators. However, very few works have been presented on robots which can swim vertically, have a payload and resemble a jellyfish-like creature. In this [...] Read more.
Several bio-inspired underwater robots have been demonstrated in the last few years that can horizontally swim using different smart actuators. However, very few works have been presented on robots which can swim vertically, have a payload and resemble a jellyfish-like creature. In this work, we present the design, fabrication, and performance characterization of a new tethered robotic jellyfish, which is based on inflatable soft pneumatic composite (SPC) actuators. These soft actuators use compressed air to expand and contract, which help the robot to swim vertically in water. The soft actuators consist of elastomeric air chambers and very thin steel springs, which contribute to gaining faster motion of the biomimetic robot. A prototype of 220 mm in diameter and consisting of eight actuating units was fabricated and tested underwater in a fish tank. It reached a height of 400 mm within 2.5 s while carrying a dead weight of 100 g when tested at 70 psi (483 kPa) pressure. This high performance (160 mm/s on average speed) suggests that faster motion with a payload can be achieved by using SPC actuators. The inflatable structures help to flap the bell segments as well as in buoyancy effect for rapid vertical motion. The major achievement of this work is the ability to demonstrate a novel use of inflatable structures and biomimetic flapping wings for fast motion in water. The experimental and deduced data from this work can be used for the design of future small unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). This work adds a new robot to the design space of biomimetic jellyfish-like soft robots. Such kind of vehicle design might also be useful for transporting objects underwater effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Underwater Robotics)
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