Robust Robotic Manipulation of Physical Structures Under Water

The ROBMAN project will develop observer-based robust control algorithms for underwater vehicle-manipulator systems to stably interact with physical structures, such as underwater pipes, valves, energy and telecommunication cables and other assets.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with industry, with an industrial use-case in focus. It also brings together the expertise of robotic manipulation and path planning for surface inspection at Heriot-Watt University, the expertise of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on developing robust and optimal control techniques for sea vehicles, and the industrial use case of i-Tech7, a brand name of the company Subsea7, on underwater applications.

Robust Robotic Manipulation of Physical Structures Under Water

This project will contribute:

1. an industrial use-case for the underwater manipulation targets of ORCA

2. two demonstrators for this use case: 1) with two different physical setups - (i) an experimental ROV-Underwater robot arm system representative of an underwater manipulation and (ii) an industrial underwater manipulation hardware of i-Tech; 2) with a simulation in a dedicated industrial underwater ROV operations simulator

3. robust and optimal stabiliser algorithms and advanced disturbance observers for water currents and friction, on top of the existing underwater manipulation studies, which are currently based solely on kinematic robot control and path planning.

With these, ROBMAN will extend the existent robotic surfacing tracing technology of the ORCA Hub underwater manipulation team to be applied to actual cleaning/rubbing and Non-Destructive Examination of underwater systems.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Mustafa Suphi Erden, Heriot-Watt University

Dr. Mustafa Suphi Erden

Project Partners:

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For information about the ROBMAN project please contact Dr. Mustafa Suphi Erden