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Description

Thanks to an electro-sensible skin, some species of fish can feel the perturbations of a self generated electric field caused by their surroundings variations. Known under the name of "electric-sense", this ability allows these fish to communicate and navigate in confined surroundings wetted by turbid waters where vision and sonar cannot work. Based on a bio-inspired electric sensor recently proposed in [1], this article presents a first attempt to use electric sense for the navigation in formation of a set of rigid underwater vehicles. The navigation strategy combines some behaviors observed in electric fish as well as a follower-leader strategy well known from multi-robot navigation. Being based one the servoing of the electric measurements, these laws do not require the knowledge of the location of the agents as this is usually the case in multi-robot navigation. At the end of the analysis, sufficient convergence conditions of the resulting control laws are given. Moreover, some limits on the possible motion of the leader are exhibited and the importance of the choice of controlled outputs is discussed too. Finally, simulation results illustrate the feasibility of the approach.

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