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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2012, Article ID 542124, 10 pages
Research Article

Application of On-Board Evolutionary Algorithms to Underwater Robots to Optimally Replan Missions with Energy Constraints

Defence R&D Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada B2Y 3Z7

Received 16 July 2011; Revised 2 December 2011; Accepted 16 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ivo Bukovsky

Copyright © 2012 M. L. Seto. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective is to show that on-board mission replanning for an AUV sensor coverage mission, based on available energy, enhances mission success. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are tasked to increasingly long deployments, consequently energy management issues are timely and relevant. Energy shortages can occur if the AUV unexpectedly travels against stronger currents, is not trimmed for the local water salinity has to get back on course, and so forth. An on-board knowledge-based agent, based on a genetic algorithm, was designed and validated to replan a near-optimal AUV survey mission. It considers the measured AUV energy consumption, attitudes, speed over ground, and known response to proposed missions through on-line dynamics and control predictions. For the case studied, the replanned mission improves the survey area coverage by a factor of 2 for an energy budget, that is, a factor of 2 less than planned. The contribution is a novel on-board cognitive capability in the form of an agent that monitors the energy and intelligently replans missions based on energy considerations with evolutionary methods.