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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 631296, 13 pages
Research Article

Design and Control of an Embedded Vision Guided Robotic Fish with Multiple Control Surfaces

1State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2Department of Informatics, University of Hamburg, D-22527 Hamburg, Germany

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 30 October 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editors: C.-F. Juang and I. Uzmay

Copyright © 2014 Junzhi Yu 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 focuses on the development and control issues of a self-propelled robotic fish with multiple artificial control surfaces and an embedded vision system. By virtue of the hybrid propulsion capability in the body plus the caudal fin and the complementary maneuverability in accessory fins, a synthesized propulsion scheme including a caudal fin, a pair of pectoral fins, and a pelvic fin is proposed. To achieve flexible yet stable motions in aquatic environments, a central pattern generator- (CPG-) based control method is employed. Meanwhile, a monocular underwater vision serves as sensory feedback that modifies the control parameters. The integration of the CPG-based motion control and the visual processing in an embedded microcontroller allows the robotic fish to navigate online. Aquatic tests demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed mechatronic design and swimming control methods. Particularly, a pelvic fin actuated sideward swimming gait was first implemented. It is also found that the speeds and maneuverability of the robotic fish with coordinated control surfaces were largely superior to that of the swimming robot propelled by a single control surface.