On the Design of a Robotic System Composed of an Unmanned Surface Vehicle and a Piggybacked VTOL

Eduardo Pinto, Pedro Santana, Francisco Marques, Ricardo Mendonca, Andre Lourenco, Jose Barata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the core ideas of the RIVERWATCH experiment and describes its hardware architecture. The RIVERWATCH experiment considers the use of autonomous surface vehicles piggybacking multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicles for the automatic monitoring of riverine environments. While the surface vehicle benefits from the aerial vehicle to extend its field of view, the aerial vehicle benefits from the surface vehicle to ensure long-range mobility. This symbiotic relation between both robots is expected to enhance the robustness and long lasting of the ensemble. The hardware architecture includes a considerable set of state-of-the-art sensory modalities and it is abstracted from the perception and navigation algorithms by using the Robotics Operating System (ROS). A set of field trials shows the ability of the prototype to scan a closed water body. The datasets obtained from the field trials are freely available to the robotics community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnological Innovation for Collective Awareness Systems
EditorsLM CamarinhaMatos, NS Barrento, R Mendonca
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-54733-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th IFIP WG 5.5/SOCOLNET Doctoral Conference on Computing, Electrical and Industrial Systems (DoCEIS) - Costa da Caparica, Portugal
Duration: 7 Apr 20149 Apr 2014

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238


Conference5th IFIP WG 5.5/SOCOLNET Doctoral Conference on Computing, Electrical and Industrial Systems (DoCEIS)
CityCosta da Caparica


  • cooperative robots
  • unmanned aerial vehicles
  • UAV
  • autonomous surface vehicles
  • ASV
  • environmental monitoring
  • riverine environments

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