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Collaborative Underwater Robots

Team Seawolf

2011-2012 MRSD Design Project



Tubbot is our first semester deliverable. This boat-like robot will serve as a platform to test a number of systems that will later be implemented on an underwater robot. 
Its current capabilities include:

  •  Moving in a straight line (less than 1' deviation for every 6' traveled) using feedback from a gyro
  •  Turning in place in under 8 seconds
  • Top speed of over 1 mph
  •  Teleoperation using a laptop
  •  Colored object following
These features are demonstrated in the following video.

Tubbot is a rather simple robot consisting of several critical components:
The brains of the robot. The arduino is a microprocessor on-board the robot. It interprets the commands sent to the robot and controls Tubbot's thrusters. 

Wireless Router:
Communication with Tubbot is accomplished using a wireless router. In our case, we are using an Asus 520gu router that has been loaded with a version of linux. The router converts commands from the computer into commands the arduino can understand. 

A modified bilge pump with a propeller attached, these thrusters provide 1.5 lbs of force, propelling tubbot to speeds greater than 1mph. 

Motor Controllers:
Motor controllers allow microcontrollers like the arduino to command powerful motors, like the thrusters. This particular motor controller has the ability to control a motor that draws 10 amps, making it well suited to handle our 6 amp thrusters. 

Network Camera
This camera takes images and sends them over a network connection. When connected to the wireless router, it allows us to beam video from tubbot directly to our computer for processing. 

Inertial Measurement Sensor:
This sensor features a 3 axis magnetometer, gyroscope, and accelerometer. Using these sensors, it can estimate the position and movement of the robot. 

Note that all imagery is taken from the internet.