Ergodic exploration for adaptive sampling of water columns using gliding robotic fish

Osama Ennasr*, Giorgos Mamakoukas, Todd Murphey, Xiaobo Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, gliding robotic fish have emerged as promising mobile platforms for underwater sensing and monitoring due to their notable energy efficiency and maneuverability. For sensing of aquatic environments, it is important to use efficient sampling strategies that incorporate previously observed data in deciding where to sample next so that the gained information is maximized. In this paper, we present an adaptive sampling strategy for mapping a scalar field in an underwater environment using a gliding robotic fish. An ergodic exploration framework is employed to compute optimal exploration trajectories. To effectively deal with the challenging complexity of finding optimum three-dimensional trajectories that are feasible for the gliding robotic fish, we propose a novel strategy that combines a unicycle model-based 2D trajectory optimization with spiral-enabled water column sampling. Gaussian process (GP) regression is used to infer the field values at unsampled locations, and to update a map of expected information density (EID) in the environment. The outputs of GP regression are then fed back to the ergodic exploration engine for trajectory optimization. We validate the proposed approach with simulation results and compare its performance with a uniform sampling grid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModeling and Validation; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Path Planning and Motion Control; Tracking Control Systems; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Application; Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles; Vibration in Mechanical Systems; Vibrations and Control of Systems; Vibrations
Subtitle of host publicationModeling, Analysis, and Control
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791851913
StatePublished - 2018
EventASME 2018 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2018 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Sep 30 2018Oct 3 2018

Publication series

NameASME 2018 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2018


OtherASME 2018 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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