I-AUV Docking and intervention in a subsea panel

Authors Narcís Palomeras | Antonio Peñalver | Miquel Massot Campos | Guillem Vallicrosa | Pep Lluis Negre Carrasco | José Javier Fernández | Pere Ridao | Pedro J. Sanz | Gabriel Oliver Codina | Albert Palomer
In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems , Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2014.


While commercially available autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are routinely used in survey missions, a new set of applications exist which clearly demand intervention capabilities: the maintenance of permanent underwater structures as well as the recovery of benthic stations or black-boxes are a few of them. These tasks are addressed nowadays using manned submersibles or work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), equipped with teleoperated arms under human supervision. In the context of the TRITON Spanish funded project, a subsea panel docking and an intervention procedure are proposed. The light-weight intervention AUV (I-AUV) Girona 500 is used to autonomously dock into a subsea panel using a funnel-based docking method for passive accommodation. Once docked, an autonomous fixed-based manipulation system, which uses feedback from a digital camera, is used to turn a valve and plug/unplug a connector. The paper presents the techniques used for the autonomous docking and manipulation as well as how the adapted subsea panel has been designed to facilitate such operations.

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