Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 67, Issue 3–4, pp 307–321 | Cite as

Development of a Spherical Underwater Robot Equipped with Multiple Vectored Water-Jet-Based Thrusters



Research on underwater robots is attracting increased attention around the world. Various kinds of underwater robots have been developed, using an assortment of shapes, sizes, weights, and propulsion methods. In this paper, we propose a novel underwater robot, employing a spherical hull and equipped with multiple vectored water-jet-based thrusters. The overall design of the robot is first introduced, and the mechanical structure and electrical system are then individually described. Two important mechanical components are the spherical hull and the waterproof box, and these are discussed in detail. Detailed descriptions of the two-level architecture of the electrical system and the design of the water-jet thrusters are also given. The multiple vectored water-jet-based propulsion system is the key feature of the robot, and the experimental mechanism of this system is briefly explained. The three main principles behind the propulsion system are also presented. Finally, evaluation experiments are presented to verify the basic motions of a prototype robot. The experimental results demonstrate that the motion characteristics of this type of underwater robot are acceptable, and the design is worthy of further research.


Underwater robot Propulsion system Water-jet thrusters Propulsive surfaces Basic motions Onboard control platform 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringKagawa UniversityKagawaJapan

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