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Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, China (2010)
Sensor model for the navigation of underwater vehicles by the electric sense
Brahim Jawad1, Pol-Bernard Gossiaux2, Frédéric Boyer1, Vincent Lebastard1, Francesco Gomez2, Noël Servagent2, Stéphane Bouvier2, Alexis Girin1, Mathieu Porez1

We present an analytical model of a sensor for the navigation of underwater vehicles by the electric sense. This model is inspired from the electroreception structure of the electric fish. In our model, that we call the poly-spherical model (PSM), the sensor is composed of n spherical electrodes. Some electrodes play the role of current-emitters whereas others play the role of current-receivers. By imposing values of the electrical potential on each electrode we create an electric field in the vicinity of the sensor. The region where the electric field is created is considered as the bubble of perception of the sensor. Each object that enters this bubble is electrically polarized and creates in return a perturbation. This perturbation induces a variation of the measured current by the sensor. The model is tested on objects for which the expression of the polarizability is known. A unique off-line calibration of the poly-spherical model permits to predict the measured current of a real immersed sensor in an aquarium. Comparisons in a basic scene between the predicted current given by the poly-spherical model and the measured current given by our test bed show a very good agreement, which confirms the interest of using such fast analytical models for the purpose of navigation.
1 :  IRCCyN - Institut de Recherche en Communications et en Cybernétique de Nantes
2 :  SUBATECH - Laboratoire SUBATECH Nantes
Sciences de l'ingénieur/Automatique / Robotique
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