A new hybrid terrain coverage method for underwater robotic exploration
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It is well known that it is difficult to explore underwater terrains using an autonomous underwater vehicle due to the varieties and complexities of underwater terrain elements. Since conventional underwater terrain coverage techniques are usually based on the assumption that the underwater surface is planar, they generate an unnecessary exploration path especially on steep sloped surfaces of ocean basins. This paper proposes a new type of coverage technique, the hybrid terrain coverage framework (HTCF), which considers various surface conditions in three-dimensional environments and generates an efficient exploration path for all environments. The HTCF incorporates a planar terrain coverage algorithm, a spiral path terrain coverage algorithm, and a hybrid decision module to recognize and select the most suitable technique depending on the sloped surface variations. Simulation results show that the proposed HTCF is more efficient than the conventional terrain coverage algorithm in terms of the energy consumption of the underwater vehicle.
KeywordsCoverage path planning Underwater exploration Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)
This work was supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2013R1A2A1A05005547), in part by the Brain Korea 21 Project, and in part by the Industrial Foundation Technology Development Program of MOTIE/KEIT [Development of CIRT (Collective Intelligence Robot Technologies)].
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