Home > Published Issues > 2024 > Volume 13, No. 2, 2024 >
IJMERR 2024 Vol.13(2): 227-240
doi: 10.18178/ijmerr.13.2.227-240

Non-linear AUV Controller Design Using Logic-Based Switching PID Control

Tazden Sewell, Jared Padayachee *, and Glen C. Snedden
Discipline of Mechanical Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Email: 216003489@stu.ukzn.ac.za (T.S.); padayacheej@ukzn.ac.za (J.P.), sneddeng@ukzn.ac.za (G.C.S.)
*Corresponding author

Manuscript received August 25, 2023; revised October 13, 2023; accepted November 29, 2023; published March 22, 2024.

Abstract—The inspection of pipes without stopping pipeline operations is of industrial interest due to the inherent economic benefits. A pipe inspection robot design is proposed together with a suitable motion controller. The proposed robot is an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) architecture that does not require shunting, draining or unearthing pipework for inspection purposes. This posed the challenge of controlling the AUV through a narrow pipe where manouvers are restricted. A set of general non-linear equations of motion were identified and refined using existing research and strip theory. The non-linear analytical model was implemented in Simulink to enable real-time monitoring and controller tuning. A non-linear controller based on a combination of classical PID theory and switching logic was developed to control the platform. The controller was transplanted into a Hardware-in-Loop (HIL) testing model developed with the Arduino and Simulink software suites. Pool tests measuring the parameters pitch and yaw angles showed that when operated independently with a 5° input, the maximum overshoot was 0.5° or 10% of the command value with a maximum angular velocity of 1.25°/s. When operated simultaneously, the overshoot rose to 30% with a constant error in the region of 1° over the target. Distance readings conducted with ultrasonic sensors to the pipe wall showed constant Sway-Heave bias errors from the centerline as −5 mm, and 4 mm, respectively, with an error range of 4 mm / −7 mm for Sway and 6 mm/ −4 mm for Heave. Pitch and heave motions were up to 18% faster than yaw and sway motions due to actuator orientation, with speeds of 6.25°/s and 40.57 mm/s, respectively. Despite the turbulence present during tests, the controller successfully drove the AUV to target positions through active flow and presented a reasonable basis for further refinement.

Keywords—autonomous underwater vehicle, pipe inspection robot, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) dynamics, Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control system

Cite: Tazden Sewell, Jared Padayachee, and Glen C. Snedden, "Non-linear AUV Controller Design Using Logic-Based Switching PID Control," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 227-240, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.