SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 64 , Issue 1 : 112210(2021) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-019-2743-8

Line-of-sight based three-dimensional path following control for an underactuated robotic dolphin

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  • ReceivedSep 11, 2019
  • AcceptedDec 4, 2019
  • PublishedDec 22, 2020


This paper investigates the three-dimensional (3-D) path following control problem for an underactuated robotic dolphin. With a comprehensive consideration of the mechanical constraint and swimming principle of the robotic dolphin, a decoupling motion strategy is proposed to produce yaw and pitch maneuvers simultaneously. Then, kinematics and dynamics models for 3-D dolphin-like swimming are established, followed by simulations of the path following control. Furthermore, a novel lookahead based 3-D line-of-sight (LOS) guidance law is developed and implemented to obtain desired attitude angles with its simplicity, intuitiveness, and small computational footprint. Finally, simulation results illustrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed path following control methods.


This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61903007, 61633017, 61633004, 61725305, 61973007, U1909206), Pre-research Fund of Equipment of China (Grant No. 61402070304), Key Research and Development and Transformation Project of Qinghai Province (Grant No. 2017-GX-103), and Youth Innovation Science and Technology Plan of Shandong Province (Grant No. 2019KJN015).


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