Control Strategy of an Underactuated Underwater Drone-Shape Robot for Grasping Tasks

Juan S. Cely*, Miguel Ángel Pérez Bayas, Marco Carpio, Cecilia Elisabet García Cena, Avishai Sintov, Roque Saltaren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In underwater environments, ensuring people’s safety is complicated, with potentially life-threatening outcomes, especially when divers have to work in deeper conditions. To improve the available solutions for working with robots in this kind of environment, we propose the validation of a control strategy for robots when taking objects from the seabed. The control strategy proposed is based on acceleration feedback in the model of the system. Using this model, the reference values for position, velocity and acceleration are estimated, and then the position error signal can be computed. When the desired position is obtained, it is possible to then obtain the position error. The validation was carried out using three different objects: a ball, a bottle, and a plant. The experiment consisted of using this control strategy to take those objects, which the robot carried for a moment to validate the stabilisation control and reference following the control in terms of angle and depth. The robot was operated by a pilot from outside of the pool and was guided using a camera and sonar in a teleoperated way. As an advantage of this control strategy, the model upon which the robot is based is decoupled, allowing control of the robot for each uncoupled plane, this being the main finding of these tests. This demonstrates that the robot can be controlled by a control strategy based on a decoupled model, taking into account the hydrodynamic parameters of the robot.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8828
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


FundersFunder number
Programas Actividades I + D en la Comunidad de Madrid
Spanish Government ProjectsPGC2018-095939-B-I00, S2018/NMT-4331, DPI2014-57220-C2-1-P
European Commission


    • agricultural automation
    • field robots
    • grasping
    • marine robotics
    • mobile manipulation
    • underactuated robots


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