Background: The vector propulsion device can significantly improve the sensitivity and
mobility of the mechanism. Furthermore, thrust vectoring technology with single manipulator and multidimensional
attitude is a novel thrust vectoring technique in industry, especially in aviation fields.
Numerous progresses made by various research groups and the newest patents in these aspects will be
cited in this paper.
Objective: To apply the thrust vectoring technology to Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), a
spherical parallel vectored thruster with three Degree-Of-Freedom (DOF) was proposed based on vector
deflection constrained screw method.
Methods: Firstly, in the framework of screw theory, the topological structure of the spherical parallel
mechanism was modeled to analyze the motion characteristics. Secondly, in terms of closed chain constraint
equations, the vectored algebra method was employed to derive the Jacobian matrix of the
mechanism. Thirdly, the decoupling structure configuration method was adopted to establish the analytical
model of velocity and acceleration. Finally, the dynamic model was established by means of
virtual work principle.
Results: The forward and inverse solutions of the mechanism was calculated; the Jacobian matrix of the
mechanism was derived; the kinematic characters including singularity and dexterity were analyzed;
the performance analysis was carried out.
Conclusion: This new type of underwater vehicle oriented power plant, which is characterized by simple
decoupling structure, strong steering capability, and high cost-efficiency, has broad prospects in the
field of AUV.