The University of Southampton
Courses

SESS6072 Maritime Robotics

Module Overview

This module introduces the theoretical and practical design of maritime robotics systems such as autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs, ASVs). Students will be introduced to the theoretical principles underlying their design including aspects of guidance, navigation and control, modelling and simulation. The module aims to provide the students with the skills required to design, build and deploy simple robotic systems.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Students will be introduced to the theoretical principles underlying their design including aspects of guidance, navigation and control, modelling and simulation. The module aims to provide the students with the skills required to design, build and deploy simple robotic systems.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Identify and describe the types and applications of maritime robotic systems.
  • Calculate and explain operational requirements, vehicle parameters and performance metrics used to design maritime robotics systems.
  • Summarise typical maritime robotics system architectures and demonstrate (low level) control system design.
  • Formulate and model maritime robotic system dynamics, control and multiple vehicular operations.
  • Design, implement and analyse guidance, navigation and control systems for maritime robotic systems.
  • Evaluate and use typical maritime robotic system sensors, signal processing and data analysis techniques.
  • Explain the legal, ethical and practical considerations when deploying maritime robotic systems.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicate findings accurately in a range of ways (written and orally).
  • Critically evaluate literature, analyse data and interpret information.
  • Conduct independent study and self-evaluation.
  • Work within a team collaboratively, encouraging peer tutoring and peer learning.

Syllabus

SYSTEM TYPES AND APPLICATIONS: An introduction to the types and applications of Maritime Robotic Systems including AUVs, ASVs, ROVs, underwater gliders and Argo floats. SYSTEM DESIGN: Design of system architectures, calculation of operational requirements, vehicle parameters and performance metrics used in the design maritime robotics systems including vehicle power, speed, range, and cost of transport (COT). SYSTEM CONTROL: Vehicle and actuator dynamics, control objectives, controller design including brushed and brushless DC motors, pulse width modulation (PWM), hall sensors, encoders and PID controllers. SYSTEM GUIDANCE: Path planning algorithms and line of sight guidance strategies including artificial potential field methods, Dijkstra’s and A* star algorithms. SYSTEM NAVIGATION: Navigation strategies and sensors for maritime robotic systems including SLAM. SYSTEM OPERATION: Multiple vehicle operation, legal, ethical and practical considerations of maritime robotic deployment including launch and recovery of maritime robotic systems Assignments on: • Laboratory Assignment, the students are required to write a technical report based on the practical experimental laboratory session on low level (feedback) control strategies for a maritime robotic vehicle. • Quiz, the students are required to complete a mid-term quiz. • Simulation Assignment, the students are required to model and simulate the performance of a robotic vehicle performing a task or manoeuvre. • Maritime Robotics Demonstrator Assignment, in groups of 3 to 5, the students are required to design and build a maritime robotic vehicle, given a small budget, to perform a task or manoeuvre in the towing tank. To support the assignments a series of laboratory sessions and workshops and design tutorials will run in parallel with the lectures over the semester. Sessions will include: • A computer laboratory session on simulating the dynamics and control of a maritime robotic vehicle. • A practical experimental laboratory session on low level (feedback) control strategies for a maritime robotic vehicle. • A practical laboratory session on using a microcontroller and interfacing with hardware e.g. controlling a DC motor and reading sensors. • Tutorials: A series of tutorials to support the coursework assignments, providing the opportunity for students to discuss their designs and simulation with members of academic staff.

Special Features

None

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures: A series of lectures on maritime robotic system types and applications, design, control, guidance, navigation and operation, supported by directed self-study, major coursework assignments and the module handbook with illustrated case studies and example sheets. • Tutorials: A series of tutorials to support the coursework assignments, providing the opportunity for students to discuss their designs and simulation with members of academic staff. • Workshop: A simulation workshop on guidance, navigation and control of a maritime robotic system. • Laboratories: A series of practical laboratories on: - Interfacing with hardware e.g. DC motors and sensors, using a microcontroller - Design and experimentation of low level control strategies for maritime robotic systems. Learning activities include: • Individual coursework’s with directed reading and independent learning requiring the use of modelling software and academic technical writing. • Group coursework involving the design, build and test of a small inexpensive maritime robotic system e.g. AUV or ASV, including technical documentation and oral presentation. • Directed self-study with a series of assessed online quizzes following each topic introduction.

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task40
Lecture15
External visits3
Revision40
Seminar2
Wider reading or practice32
Tutorial6
Supervised time in studio/workshop3
Demonstration3
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Blackboard. Resources and reading list: Available on blackboard

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 40%
Assignment 40%
Quiz 20%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module: SESS3025 Marine Engineering 2016-17 or equivalent method of assessment for External Repeat to be confirmed by ML

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