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The University of Southampton
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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

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, including the ethics and responsibilities of operation. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: EL8, P6)
  • Calculate and explain operational requirements, vehicle parameters and performance metrics used to design maritime robotics systems. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: SM1, SM2 SM5)
  • Summarise typical maritime robotics system architectures and demonstrate (low level) control system design. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: SM1, SM4, SM8, SM9, P9)
  • Formulate and model maritime robotic system dynamics, control and operations in realistic environments with sensor uncertainty. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: EA1, D3, D9, D10, P8)
  • Design, implement and analyse guidance, navigation and control systems for maritime robotic systems. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: EA2, EA6, EA7, EA6M, D11, P1)
  • Evaluate and use typical maritime robotic system sensors, signal processing and data analysis techniques. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: EA3, P12)
  • Explain the use of payloads and their impact on control and localisation requirements. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: EA2)
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). (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: G1)
  • Critically evaluate literature, analyse data and interpret information. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: P4)
  • Conduct independent study and self-evaluation. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: G4)
  • Work within a team collaboratively, encouraging peer tutoring and peer learning. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: G4)
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design, develop and build, as a team, a demonstrator underwater maritime system for testing and evaluation. (Contributing to EAB accreditation LOs: D8, D11, P3, G1, G4, P12)

Syllabus

SYSTEM TYPES AND APPLICATIONS: An introduction to the types, applications and practical considerations of deploying and operating Maritime Robotic Systems including AUVs, ASVs, ROVs, underwater gliders and Argo floats. SYSTEM DESIGN: Design of maritime robotic systems and calculation of vehicle parameters and performance metrics including pressure, buoyancy, power, speed, range and cost of transport (COT). SYSTEM NAVIGATION: Sensors and navigational strategies for maritime robotic systems including localisation using dead-reckoning, SLAM and uncertainty/probabilistic approaches. SYSTEM GUIDANCE: Path planning algorithms and path following strategies including artificial potential field methods, Dijkstra’s, A* star algorithms and line of sight guidance strategies. SYSTEM CONTROL: Modelling and control of maritime robotic systems including PID controllers, system architectures, actuator and vehicle dynamics. Assignments on: • Laboratory Assignment, the students are required to write a technical report based on the practical experimental laboratory session. • Simulation Assignment, the students are required to model and simulate the performance of a robotic vehicle performing a given task or manoeuvre. • Maritime Robotics Demonstrator Assignment, in groups the students are required to design and build a maritime robotic vehicle to perform a given task or manoeuvre in the towing tank. Each group will be given a small budget. To support the assignments a series of laboratory/workshop sessions and tutorials will run in parallel with the lectures over the semester. Sessions will include: • A practical experimental laboratory session using low level (feedback) control strategies for autonomous control of a maritime robotic vehicle. • A practical laboratory session on using a microcontroller and interfacing with hardware e.g. controlling a DC motor, reading and logging sensor data. • 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.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• 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 notes 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. • Laboratories: A series of practical laboratories on autonomous control of a maritime robotic vehicle and using microcontroller and interfacing with hardware e.g. controlling a DC motor, reading and logging/analysing sensor data. 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. Method of assessment for External Repeat to be confirmed by Module lead.

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

Resources & Reading list

Blackboard. Resources and reading list: Available on blackboard

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 50%
Assignment 50%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SESS3025

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