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Research Article Open Access

Laser and Vision-Based Obstacle Avoidance for A Semi-Autonomous ROV   


Gil Silva1, Paulo Lopes2*, Francisco Curado2, Nuno Lau2


1Department of Electronics, Telecomunications and Informatics (DETI), University of Aveiro,
Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal

2IEETA – Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro, University of Aveiro,
Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal

Adv. Mater. Proc., 2019, 4 (2), AMP1401459

DOI: 10.5185/amp.2019.1459

Publication Date (Web):05 April 2019

Copyright © IAAM-VBRI Press



Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) are increasingly being used for a large spectrum of maritime tasks for which human intervention is either dangerous or impossible. In case of complex tasks such as detailed inspection, difficult environment or even budget shortage, AUV may not be suitable. On the other hand dealing with repetitive actions or having to constantly react to obstacles may be excessively tiring for the ROV operator. In this paper we describe a low-cost Laser-based obstacle sensor which combined with the camera image allow the ROV to autonomously react without the intervention of the operator and even blocking his commands. In order for the ROV to take control, a C++ software was developed to receive ROV sensors data, process it and send commands using the same serial communications port the operator uses. All the calculations related to the Laser sensor are performed by a Matlab program whose results are shared with the former program. Tests were carried out in a swimming pool and the semi-autonomous ROV performed satisfactorily and efficiently. Copyright © VBRI Press.


Semi-autonomous ROV, laser-based distance sensor, obstacle avoidance, magnetic feedback.