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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 8594096, 16 pages
Research Article

Vision-Based Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Navigation in Poor Visibility Conditions Using a Model-Free Robust Control

1CONACYT-Instituto Politécnico Nacional-CITEDI, 22435 Tijuana, BC, Mexico
2Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Group, CINVESTAV Campus Saltillo, 25900 Ramos Arizpe, COAH, Mexico

Received 25 March 2016; Revised 5 June 2016; Accepted 6 June 2016

Academic Editor: Pablo Gil

Copyright © 2016 Ricardo Pérez-Alcocer et al. 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.


This paper presents a vision-based navigation system for an autonomous underwater vehicle in semistructured environments with poor visibility. In terrestrial and aerial applications, the use of visual systems mounted in robotic platforms as a control sensor feedback is commonplace. However, robotic vision-based tasks for underwater applications are still not widely considered as the images captured in this type of environments tend to be blurred and/or color depleted. To tackle this problem, we have adapted the color space to identify features of interest in underwater images even in extreme visibility conditions. To guarantee the stability of the vehicle at all times, a model-free robust control is used. We have validated the performance of our visual navigation system in real environments showing the feasibility of our approach.