Design, development and testing of a punting unmanned underwater vehicle

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



We detail the development of a novel propulsion system for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV's) inspired by the punting locomotion of the 'Little Skate'. The hybrid legged, gliding and punting gait is a potential enabling technology for UUV access to complex littoral environments. Design, development and initial trials with the prototype vehicle are presented. A combination of video motion capture and on-board inertial sensing is validated and used for preliminary analysis of a limited set of punting gaits. The results indicate the importance of matching vehicle morphology and kinematics to achieve effective locomotion and that the prototype is viable to be used as a validation tool for a general punting dynamic model that is in development.

Publication Title

OCEANS 2016 MTS/IEEE Monterey, OCE 2016