This paper describes the development of a novel vision-based autonomous surface vehicle with the purpose of performing coordinated docking manoeuvres with a target, such as an autonomous underwater vehicle, at the water's surface. The system architecture integrates two small processor units; the first performs vehicle control and implements a virtual force based docking strategy, with the second performing vision-based target segmentation and tracking. Furthermore, the architecture utilises wireless sensor network technology allowing the vehicle to be observed by, and even integrated within an ad-hoc sensor network. Simulated and experimental results are presented demonstrating the autonomous vision- based docking strategy on a proof-of-concept vehicle
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