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The Backseat Control Architecture for Autonomous Robotic Vehicles: A Case Study with the Iver2 AUV

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In this paper, an innovative hybrid control architecture for real-time control of autonomous robotic vehicles is described as well as its implementation on a commercially available autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). This architecture has two major components, a behavior-based intelligent autonomous controller and an interface to a classical dynamic controller that is responsible for real-time dynamic control of the vehicle given the decisions of the intelligent controller over the decision state space (e.g., vehicle course, speed, and depth). The driving force behind the development of this architecture was a desire to make autonomy software development for underwater vehicles independent from the dynamic control specifics of any given vehicle. The resulting software portability allows significant code reuse and frees autonomy software developers from being tied to a particular vehicle manufacturer’s autonomy software and support as long as the vehicle supports the required interface between the intelligent controller and the dynamic controller. This paper will describe in detail the components of the backseat driver architecture as implemented on the Iver2 underwater vehicle, provide several examples of its use, and discuss the future direction of the architecture.
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Keywords: Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); Autonomy; Marine robotics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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