Abstract

This paper investigates the dynamics of an underwater vehicle-manipulator system (UVMS), which consists of a flexible-joint manipulator attached to an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The quasi-Lagrange formulation was utilized in deriving the equations of motion of the UVMS, considering the nonlinear hydrodynamic forces acting on the system along with a nonlinear model of the flexible joints of the manipulator. Simulations were performed to investigate the effect of the vortex-induced vibrations (VIVs), transmitted from the AUV to the manipulator, and the flexibility of the joints of the manipulator on the precision positioning of the end-effector. Our investigations reveal that both the VIVs (transmitted from the AUV) and the flexibility of the joints significantly affect the positioning of the end-effector, particularly in operations involving high precision, for example, during the drilling or grasping tasks.

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