PhD Thesis

Online Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles under Motion Constraints

Doctoral thesis “Online Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles under Motion Constraints” By Juan David Hernández Vega Supervised by Dr. Marc Carreras   Abstract Thesis submitted to the University of Girona in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of PhilosophySince their beginning in the late 1950s, the capabilities and applications of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have continuously evolved. Their most common applications include imaging and inspecting different kinds of structures on the sea floor as well as collecting oceanographic informa-tion: biological, chemical, and even archaeological data.   Most of these applications require a priori information of the area or structure to be inspected, either to navigate at a safe and conservative altitude or to pre-calculate a survey path. However there are other applica-tions where it’s unlikely that such information is available (e.g., exploring confined natural environments like underwater caves). In these scenarios, AUVs must operate in unexplored…

ROBOT LEARNING APPLIED TO AUTONOMOUS UNDERWATER VEHICLES FOR INTERVENTION TASKS

Doctoral thesis “Robot Learning applied to Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for intervention tasks” By Arnau Carrera Viñas Supervised by Marc Carreras, Narcís Palomeras and Petar Kormushev   ABSTRACT The interest in performing underwater tasks using AUVs has been growing over the past few decades. The initial focus was on the exploration of underwater areas, performing survey trajectories harvesting data to build bathymetric maps or photo-mosaics. Later the focus of research switched to performing inspections of underwater structures or elements (e.g., pipelines) which required more complex behaviours and localization methods. Advances in these fields have awakened the interest of the community in using AUVs to perform intervention tasks, replacing ROVs and manned submersibles. This replacement offers the possibility of automatizing tasks, increasing the efficiency and repetitively, as well as reducing cost, time, and the equipment needed to perform an underwater intervention. I-AUVs open the door for more companies and scientists to increase the frequency of…