Coupled and decoupled force/motion controllers for an underwater vehicle-manipulator system

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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Autonomous interaction with the underwater environment has increased the interest of scientists in the study of control structures for lightweight underwater vehicle-manipulator systems. This paper presents an essential comparison between two different strategies of designing control laws for a lightweight underwater vehicle-manipulator system. The first strategy aims to separately control the vehicle and the manipulator and hereafter is referred to as the decoupled approach. The second method, the coupled approach, proposes to control the system at the operational space level, treating the lightweight underwater vehicle-manipulator system as a single system. Both strategies use a parallel position/force control structure with sliding mode controllers and incorporate the mathematical model of the system. It is demonstrated that both methods are able to handle this highly non-linear system and compensate for the coupling effects between the vehicle and the manipulator. The results demonstrate the validity of the two different control strategies when the goal is located at various positions, as well as the reliable behaviour of the system when different environment stiffnesses are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date21 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Autonomy
  • Dynamic modelling
  • Force control
  • Low-level control
  • Parallel control
  • Position control
  • Underwater vehicle-manipulator system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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