General Objective

The FlatFish prototype was developed with the software layer based on the robotics framework ROCK (Robot Construction Kit), originally developed by the CIMATEC partner DFKI during the first phases of the project. However, ROCK has a very restricted community of users among institutions that practice robotics, and even smaller are the teams of developers that keep the framework up to date. Thus, to guarantee the dynamic and consistent performance of the development of several researches with the prototype, it is necessary to update it to a more robust framework with broader support.


This work aimed to update the robotics framework used in the FlatFish vehicle prototype, migrating the ROCK software components to the ROS framework (Robot Operating System). ROS is a flexible and comprehensive framework for writing robot software widely used in institutions that work with robotics development and innovation around the world. It has a large active community of users on forums. In addition, the release of new versions of ROS are scheduled and supported with well-known deadlines.

Specific Objectives

  1. Develop FF Concept Map
  2. Create FF package set (Autoproj)
  3. Create FF ROS Simulation
  4. Thrusters ROS package
  5. Camera ROS package
  6. Sonar ROS package
  7. Laser ROS package
  8. EFuse ROS package
  9. SMB ROS package
  10. Basic navigation package
  11. Pipeline Following
  12. Bowtech ROS package
  13. Basic Operation


FlatFish is an autonomous vehicle developed by the Brazilian Institute of Robotics (BIR) in partnership with the Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) which belongs to the Bremen location of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH). The Aim of FlatFish is to perform repeated inspection of Oil and Gas subsea structures, such as pipelines, manifolds and subsea isolation valve (SSIV). It was designed to be a subsea-resident AUV, meaning that a docking station present on the sea bottom enables the vehicle to recharge its battery and exchange data with a topside base while underwater.


Sensors and Features

FlatFish has advanced sensors and features, listed below, that allows it to accomplish its goals.

Depth rating 300 m
(in air)
275 kg
Size (LWH) 220 cm x 105 cm x 50 cm
Propulsion 6x 60N Enitech ring thrusters (120N in each direction)
Battery Lithium-Ion battery 5,8 kWh (11,6 kWh) @ 48V
Rock7mobile RockBlock Iridium satellite modem (1,6 GHz)

Digi XBee-Pro-868 (868 MHz)

Ubiquiti PicoStation M2 HP WLAN-Modul (2,4 GHz)
10 GBit/s optical fibre

1 GBit/s Cat5e (max. 50m)
Evologics S2CR 48/78 kHz
usable as USBL transponder
Light 4x Bowtech LED-K-3200 (3200 lumen each)
Laser Line projector 2x Picotronic LD532-20-3(20x80)45-PL line laser
20mW each @ 532nm
Sonar BlueView MB1350-45 Multibeam Profiler (inspection sonar)

Tritech Gemini 720i Multibeam Imager (navigation sonar)

2x Tritech Micron Sonar (obstacle avoidance)
Camera 4x Basler ace acA2040-gc25
2048x2048 at 25 frames/s,
colour, GigabitEthernet
Depth sensor Paroscientific 8CDP700-I,
sampling rate of 5Hz
sampling rate of 100Hz
DVL Rowe SeaProfiler DualFrequency 300/1200 kHz,
sampling rate of 4Hz

Sneak Peek


Live Action

Thruster Test

Development Team

Diogo Martins Lucas Silva Marco Reis
Robotics Enthusiast. Master student in Mechatronics, Specialist in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Engineer in Automation and Control. Doctor of electrical engineering, in information processing area. Research interests: embedded systems, signal processing and system integration. Senior Researcher - Master in Production Engineering and Electrical Engineer.

Aziel Freitas
Electrical Engineer and Robotics specialist.

Project Overview

  1. Category: Maritime Robotics
  2. Duration: 9 months
  3. Start: 19/11/2020
  4. End: 30/09/2021
  5. Repositories:
  6. Sponsor: Senai CIMATEC

  1. Britto Neto, João da Costa. Parameters identification of dynamic model and simulation of autonomous underwater vehicles. MS thesis. Federal University of Bahia, 2019.
  2. Fossen, Thor I. Handbook of marine craft hydrodynamics and motion control. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  3. Saback, Rafael, et al. “Fault-tolerant control allocation technique based on explicit optimization applied to an autonomous underwater vehicle.” OCEANS 2016 MTS/IEEE Monterey. IEEE, 2016.
  4. Albiez, Jan, et al. “Flatfish-a compact subsea-resident inspection auv.” OCEANS 2015-MTS/IEEE Washington. IEEE, 2015.
  5. Saback, Rafael, et al. “Fault-tolerant control allocation technique based on explicit optimization applied to an autonomous underwater vehicle.” OCEANS 2016 MTS/IEEE Monterey. IEEE, 2016.