A Computational Framework for Simulation of Underwater Robotic Vehicle Systems
Orin, David E.
McGhee, Robert B.
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This paper presents a computational framework for efficiently simulating the dynamics and hydrodynamics of Underwater Robotic Vehicle (URV) systems. Through the use of object-oriented mechanisms, a very general yet efficient version of the Articulated-Body (AB) algorithm has been implemented. An efficient solution to branching within chains is developed in the paper so that the algorithm can be used to compute the dynamics for the entire class of open-chain, tree-structured mechanisms. By including compliant contacts with the environment, most closed-chain systems can also be modeled. URV systems with an extended set of topologies can be simulated including proposed underwater walking machines with intra-body powered articulations. Using the encapsulation inherent in C++, the hydrodynamics code has been confined to a single class, thereby explicitly defining this framework and providing an environment for readily implementing desired hydrodynamics algorithms. Resulting simulations are very efficient and can be used in a number of applications both in the development and use of URV systems.
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