Research Area: Future Development and Operations

Resident Robot Manipulators for Subsea IMR

Project Number: 6605
Project Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.18

Project Director: Kristin Y. Pettersen

Division Head: Kjetil Skaugset


Nowadays, there is a large focus in the subsea industry on the development of autonomous/unmanned solutions. Furthermore, the number of subsea oil and gas installations is increasing, and this creates an increasing need for subsea IMR. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are increasingly taking over for Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROVs) when it comes to pipeline inspection, while for other subsea installations where hovering capabilities are necessary, inspection AUVs are being developed. However, no intervention AUVs exist in the market yet, although small manipulators may be mounted on the inspection AUVs. Moreover, smaller ROVs are developed in order to be able to access and inspect locations of subsea installations where working class ROVs are too large to access. The size of the manipulator arms mounted on these inspection AUVs and ROVs are, however, limited by the small size of the AUV/ROV. In addition, existing subsea manipulator arms are generally quite crude and have limited dexterity. 








































Picture: The Underwater Snake Robot—Mamba, and the Experimental Setup in Flume Tank for the Experiments


In this project, we will address swimming robot manipulators, a new type of subsea vehicle which, when fully developed, will significantly improve the quality and reduce the cost of subsea IMR operations. Instead of relying on a carrying device like AUVs and ROVs, the swimming manipulators can perform their own locomotion, in addition to carrying out manipulation/intervention tasks. This will provide a highly flexible robot manipulator arm (hyperredundant) with a dexterity that exceeds the 5-7 degrees of freedom manipulator arms that exist for subsea IMR today. As the length of the manipulator arm will not be bounded by a carrying device, the arm can be made as long and flexible as desired, thus providing a unique dexterity and also a high payload capability along the arm. In addition, the swimming manipulator with its slender and flexible structure will be able to access also the narrow parts of the subsea installation. In order to achieve a resident solution for subsea IMR, efficiency and manoeuvrability, energy autonomy and automatic docking are central features, and this project will develop new results and technology for making swimming manipulators a resident part of the subsea factory.


Eleni Kelasidi received the Diploma (MSc) of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Ph.D degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Patras, Greece, in 2009 and from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway, in 2015, respectively. In 2009-2012, she was a pre-doc researcher in the field of design and control of mobile robot with articulated body at the University of Patras. She is currently a PostDoc Researcher (VISTA Scholar) at the CoE Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems, Department of Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU.  Her research interests include modeling, analysis and control of underwater snake robots.



·        A. Kohl, E. Kelasidi, A. Mohammadi, M. Maggiore and K.Y. Pettersen, "Planar Maneuvering Control of Underwater Snake Robots Using Virtual Holonomic Constraints”, Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, Vol. 11, No. 6, 2016.
DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/11/6/065005 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/11/6/065005>

·        A. Kohl, E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen and J. T. Gravdahl, “Model-Based LOS Path-Following Control of Planar Underwater Snake Robots”, Book Chapter in Springer Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, 2017.


·        A. Sans-Muntadas, K.Y. Pettersen, E. Brekke and E. Kelasidi, “Learning an AUV docking maneuver with a convolutional neural network”, Proc. OCEANS ´17, Anchorage, AK, 18-22 Sep. 2017.


·         E. Kelasidi, A.M.  Khol, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, " An Experimental Investigation of Path Following for an Underwater Snake Robot with a Caudal Fin”, in Proc. 20th IFAC World Congress, Toulouse, France, July 9-14, 2017.

·        E. Kelasidi, A.M. Kohl, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, “Waypoint guidance control for underwater snake robots exposed to ocean currents”, Proc. 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, Athens, Greece, June 21-24, 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/MED.2016.7535893 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MED.2016.7535893> .

·        E. Kelasidi, A. Kohl, K.Y. Pettersen, and J.T. Gravdahl, “Study of Locomotion Efficiency and Path Following for Underwater Snake Robot with and without Caudal Fin: Theory and Experiments”, Annual Reviews in Control, 2018.


·        E. Kelasidi, G. Elgenes, and H. Kilvær, “Fluid Parameter Identification for Underwater Snake Robots”, Proc. 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore & Arctic Engineering, June 17-22, 2018.

·        E. Kelasidi, M. Jesmani, K.Y. Pettersen, and J.T. Gravdahl, “Locomotion efficiency optimization of biologically inspired snake robots”, Applied Sciences, Special Issue entitled "Bio-Inspired Robotics, vol. 8, no. 1, 2018.

·        E. Kelasidi, M. Jesmani, K.Y. Pettersen, and J.T. Gravdahl, "Multi-objective optimization for efficient motion of underwater snake robots”, Springer Artificial Life and Robotics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s10015-016-0332-3 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10015-016-0332-3>

·        E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen, J.T. Gravdahl, S. Strømsøyen and A.J. Sørensen, “Modeling and Propulsion Methods of Underwater Snake Robots”, Proc. 1st IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, Aug. 27-30, 2017.

·        E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen, P. Liljebäck and J.T. Gravdahl, “Locomotion Efficiency of Underwater Snake Robots with Thrusters”, Proc. International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics, Lausanne, Switzerland, 23 – 27 October, 2016.


·               Eleni Kelasidi, P. Liljebäck, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, "Integral Line-of-Sight Guidance for Path Following Control of Underwater Snake Robots: Theory and Experiments”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2017.
DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2017.2651119 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2017.2651119>

·        E., Kelasidi and K.Y., Pettersen, “Modeling of underwater snake robots”, Ang Jr., M.H., Khatib, O., Siciliano, B. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Robotics. Springer, 2018.

·        J. Sverdrup-Thygeson, E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, “The Underwater Swimming Manipulator – A Bio-Inspired AUV”, Proc. 2016 IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 6-8, 2016.

·        J. Sverdrup-Thygeson, E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, “A control framework for biologically inspired underwater swimming manipulators equipped with thrusters”, Proc. 10th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Trondheim, Norway, Sep. 13-16, 2016.

·        J. Sverdrup-Thygeson, E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen and J.T. Gravdahl, “The Underwater Swimming Manipulator – A Bio-Inspired Solution for Subsea Operations, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 2017.

·        M. F. Amundsen, J.S. Thygeson, E. Kelasidi, and Kristin Y. Pettersen, “Inverse Kinematic Control of a Free-Floating Underwater Manipulator Using the Generalized Jacobian Matrix”, Proc. European Control Conference, Cyprus, June 12-15, 2018.          

·        Sans-Muntadas, E. Kelasidi, K.Y. Pettersen and E. Brekke, “Spiral path planning for docking of underactuated vehicles with limited FOV”, Proc. 1st IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, Aug. 27-30, 2017. 

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