In the context of underwater robotics, positioning and coordination of mobile agents can prove a challenging problem. To address this issue, we propose the use of electric sensing, with a technique inspired by weakly electric fishes. In particular, the approach relies on one or several of the agents applying an electric field to their environment. Using electric measures, others agents are able to reconstruct their relative position with respect to the emitter, over a range that is function of the geometry of the emitting agent and of the power applied to the environment. Efficacy of the technique is illustrated using a number of numerical examples. The approach is shown to allow coordination of unmanned underwater vehicles, including that of bio-inspired swimming robotic platforms.
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