A compact, low-cost unmanned surface vehicle for shallow inshore applications

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

10 Citations (SciVal)


This paper describes the preliminary design, implementation, and testing of a Police Robot for Inspecting and Mapping underwater Evidence (PRIME), an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) developed to aid and support police search teams in shallow-water and inshore reconnaissance operations. Manual processing of such areas can be time consuming and difficult, with dangerous debris and low visibility causing further hindrance in some scenarios. PRIME uses a combination of MultiBeam EchoSounder (MBES) and Side Scan Sonar (SSS) systems for high resolution underwater imaging. Additional navigational sensors provide PRIME with further data allowing for position control, path planning and autonomous navigation within complex environments such as inland waterways. Such applications pose significant design constraints, with the USV required to be compact and portable, relatively inexpensive and scenario-configurable. We present some approaches taken to address these challenges, based around a modular hardware and software architecture using the Robot Operating System (ROS) framework. Data gathered from field tests using initial prototypes for the detection of body-shaped test targets is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2017
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781509064359
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-6436-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2018
Event2017 Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2017 - London, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sept 20178 Sept 2017


Conference2017 Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2017
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


  • Autonomous
  • police
  • sonar
  • underwater search
  • unmanned surface vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Control and Optimization


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