Constrained Multi-Body Dynamics for Modular Underwater Robots — Theory and Experiments

Mikkel Cornelius Nielsen*, Ole Alexander Eidsvik, Mogens Blanke, Ingrid Schjølberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper investigates the problem of modelling a system of interconnected underwater robots with highly coupled dynamics. The objective is to develop a mathematical description of the system that captures its most significant dynamics. The proposed modelling method is based on active constraint enforcement by utilising the Udwadia-Kalaba Formulation for multi-body dynamics. The required description of a rigid constraint is defined, derived and implemented into a system of interconnected sub-models. An exhaustive experimental validation is conducted ona two-vehicle system, including towing tank tests on a BlueROV vehicle to determine the model parameters. The applicability of the modelling approach is assessed by comparing experimental data to simulations of an equivalent model synthesised using the proposed theory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOcean Engineering
Pages (from-to)358-372
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Multi-body Dynamics
  • Udwadia-Kalaba Equation
  • Modular Underwater Robots
  • Constrained Dynamics
  • Quasi-Coordinates
  • Re-configurable Robots

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