This article presents a novel docking system developed for miniature underwater robots. Recent years have seen an increased diffusion of robots for ocean monitoring, exploration and maintenance of underwater infrastructures. The versatility of those vehicles is extremely affected and limited by energetic constraints and difficulties in updating their mission parameters. Submerged docking stations are a promising solution for providing energy sources and data exchange, thus extending autonomy and mission duration of underwater robots. Furthermore, the docking capability is a novel, but promising approach to enable modularity and reconfigurability in underwater robotics. The authors here propose a hybrid docking system composed of a magnetic alignment unit and a mechanical connection. The former passively aligns and guides the underwater vehicle facilitating a subsequent mechanical connection. The reliability of the system is both analytically investigated and experimentally validated. Finally, the mechanical design of the docking system of two miniature underwater robots is described in detail.

Towards docking for small scale underwater robots

Filippo Fabiani;
2014-01-01

Abstract

This article presents a novel docking system developed for miniature underwater robots. Recent years have seen an increased diffusion of robots for ocean monitoring, exploration and maintenance of underwater infrastructures. The versatility of those vehicles is extremely affected and limited by energetic constraints and difficulties in updating their mission parameters. Submerged docking stations are a promising solution for providing energy sources and data exchange, thus extending autonomy and mission duration of underwater robots. Furthermore, the docking capability is a novel, but promising approach to enable modularity and reconfigurability in underwater robotics. The authors here propose a hybrid docking system composed of a magnetic alignment unit and a mechanical connection. The former passively aligns and guides the underwater vehicle facilitating a subsequent mechanical connection. The reliability of the system is both analytically investigated and experimentally validated. Finally, the mechanical design of the docking system of two miniature underwater robots is described in detail.
2014
Autonomous docking, Magnetic alignment, Miniature AUV, Underwater robots
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/25758
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