Marine Robotics

Course Description

Marine robotics is a branch of robotics that places emphasis on unmanned, autonomous marine vessels that find their application underwater and on water. Marine robotics has applications in exploration and conservation of marine species, habitats, and underwater cultural heritage, in aquaculture, maritime safety, offshore industry, and many others. This course focuses on navigation, guidance, and control of autonomous vessels (underwater and surface), as an upgrade on the topics of acoustic communication, sensors and mathematical modelling that are covered in the first part of the semester.

Learning Outcomes

  1. define marine systems and their classification
  2. distinguish unmanned underwater vehicles and their application
  3. explain the principles of underwater acoustic communication and principles of operation of acoustic modems
  4. explain the principles of operation of sensors and actuators used in marine vehicles
  5. analyze mathematical models of vessels
  6. design low level controllers for vessels
  7. design guidance controllers for vessels
  8. design navigation systems for vessels

Forms of Teaching



Seminars and workshops


Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Seminar/Project 20 % 50 % 20 % 50 %
Final Exam: Oral 50 %
Exam: Oral 50 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. INTRODUCTION: motivation; historical overview; vessel types (unmanned, manned, autonomous, underwater (ROV, AUVs, gliders), surface (USVs)); challenges in marine robotics
  2. APPLICATION OF UNMANNED VESSELS: biology, archeology, safety
  3. ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION: physical principles; acoustic modems; acoustic timing; challenges in acoustic communication (multipath, delay)
  4. SENSORS: GPS, INS, DVL, acoustic positioning systems (LBL, SBL, USBL), SONARs (scanning, multi-beam, sidescan).
  5. MATHEMATICAL VESSEL MODELING: coordinate systems, kinematic and dynamic model
  6. MATHEMATICAL VESSEL MODELING: control allocation, actuator modeling
  7. CONTROL OF MARINE VEHICLES: inverse thruster allocation; low level control
  8. Midterm exam
  9. GUIDANCE OF MARINE VEHICLES: heading and depth control; dynamic positioning
  10. GUIDANCE OF MARINE VEHICLES: line following, distance keeping, trajectory tracking
  11. Seminar
  12. NAVIGATION OF MARINE VEHICLES: state estimation (Kalman filter); sensor fusion; outlier rejection
  13. Seminar
  14. COOPERATIVE CONTROL: target tracking, formation keeping, cooperative tracking
  15. Final exam

Study Programmes

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Thor I. Fossen (2002.), Marine Control Systems,
Thor I. Fossen (2011.), Handbook of Marine Craft Hydrodynamics and Motion Control, John Wiley & Sons
Nikola Mišković (.), Use of self-oscillations in guidance and control of marine vessels,

Laboratory exercises

For students


ID 222677
  Summer semester
L1 English Level
L1 e-Learning
30 Lectures
0 Seminar
0 Exercises
4 Laboratory exercises
0 Project laboratory

Grading System

89 Excellent
76 Very Good
63 Good
50 Acceptable