An integrated hydrodynamics and control model of a tethered underwater robot

Jia-ming Wu, Ying Xu, Longbin Tao, Miao Yu, Yi-zhe Dou

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43 Citations (Scopus)
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An integrated hydrodynamics and control model to simulate tethered underwater robot system is proposed. The governing equation of the umbilical cable is based on a finite difference method, the hydrodynamic behaviors of the underwater robot are described by the six-degrees-of-freedom equations of motion for submarine simulations, and a controller based on the fuzzy sliding mode control (FSMC) algorithm is also incorporated. Fluid motion around the main body of moving robot with running control ducted propellers is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations and these nonlinear differential equations are solved numerically via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. The hydrodynamics and control behaviors of the tethered underwater robot under certain designated trajectory and attitude control manipulation are then investigated based on the established hydrodynamics and control model. The results indicate that satisfactory control effect can be achieved and hydrodynamic behavior under the control operation can be observed with the model; much kinematic and dynamic information about tethered underwater robot system can be forecasted, including translational and angular motions of the robot, hydrodynamic loading on the robot, manipulation actions produced by the control propellers, the kinematic and dynamic behaviors of the umbilical cable. Since these hydrodynamic effects are fed into the proposed coupled model, the mutual hydrodynamic influences of different portions of the robot system as well as the hydrological factors of the undersea environment for the robot operation are incorporated in the model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalChina Ocean Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date26 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


  • tethered underwater robot
  • umbilical cable
  • ducted propeller
  • fuzzy sliding mode control
  • CFD
  • trajectory and attitude control


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