Wearable Robots for Human Underwater Movement Ability Enhancement: A Survey

Haisheng Xia, Muhammad Alamgeer Khan, Zhijun Li, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Underwater robot technology has shown impressive results in applications such as underwater resource detection. For underwater applications that require extremely high flexibility, robots cannot replace skills that require human dexterity yet, and thus humans are often required to directly perform most underwater operations. Wearable robots (exoskeletons) have shown outstanding results in enhancing human movement on land. They are expected to have great potential to enhance human underwater movement. The purpose of this survey is to analyze the state-of-the-art of underwater exoskeletons for human enhancement, and the applications focused on movement assistance while excluding underwater robotic devices that help to keep the temperature and pressure in the range that people can withstand. This work discusses the challenges of existing exoskeletons for human underwater movement assistance, which mainly includes human underwater motion intention perception, underwater exoskeleton modeling and human-cooperative control. Future research should focus on developing novel wearable robotic structures for underwater motion assistance, exploiting advanced sensors and fusion algorithms for human underwater motion intention perception, building up a dynamic model of underwater exoskeletons and exploring human-in-the-loop control for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-977
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering


  • Cyborg intelligence
  • diving
  • exoskeleton
  • intention perception
  • modeling and control
  • swimming
  • underwater exoskeletons
  • underwater robots
  • wearable robots


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