Technology from the 2019-20 Season
A Submarine with Memory
To correct edge cases which occurred during our finals run in the 2019 RoboSub Competition, we have given our subs the ability to remember when and where they saw a task. By creating a registry of each task location, the sub does not need to perform task in a location-based order, but instead can traverse the course to hit priority targets before returning to low priority ones.
Stereo Vision for Depth Sensing
In previous years we have struggled with the inability of our 7-Camera system to detect the distance to objects of interest. As a result we have added an additional two cameras to our vehicle, bring the count to nine, that will allow us to measure the distance to an object by replicating human like vision.
An Accelerated Vision Pipeline
At Colorado RoboSub we have a lot of cameras on our vehicles, Leviathan alone has 9, and as a result speed is very important to our visual analysis of each camera. To address slow analysis times using Python we have updated much of our vision software to C++ with Nodeleting which has resulted in a dramatic increase in speed.
Saving our MOSFETS
Last season we have issues with our MOSFETS burning out since all eight of them had only a single gate driver which resulted in transition times that were too large. Thus, this year we have given each MOSFET its own gate driver.
A Fancy Simulator Update
It has been especially timely that this was the year we decided to perform a full upgrade of our simulator. By integrating real world physics and SolidWorks models of both the subs and tasks, we have been able to continue software development despite the inability to actual get in the water. The image to the right shows the our high fidelity graphics simulator. Eventually we intend to train our vision recognition neural net using simulated images, allowing us to arrive at competition with a fully usable net.
A Recycled Hull
To both save costs, decrease integration time, and reduce our vehicles environmental impact, out team pulled one of our original hulls (4-5 years old) and revamped it to be used again for our newest vehicle, Papa.
Motor Bumpers & Inlaid Motors
In past competitions our main vehicle, Leviathan, has damaged its own motor when it ran up against the walls of the pool during testing. Thus, for the 2019-2020 season we have introduced a series of motor bumpers to protect our vulnerable motors. Additionally, our newest sub, Papa, is designed so that the frame as to protect the motors, eliminating the need for additional motor bumpers.
Increased Frame Durability
To improve future durability, modularity, and maintenance costs we used PVC plastic for the frame of our newest vehicle, Papa. By using a chlorine and brine resistant material we will the pitfalls of our previous aluminum frames such as corrosion, difficulty making modifications, and the increased costs associated with machining and anodization.
Technology from the 2018-19 Season
Vision based autonomy.
Using seven different cameras sampling at a rate of 60 Hz, our main sub Leviathan reaches a level of visual sensing and autonomy unparalleled in the RoboSub competition.
Modular, versatile frames.
With the intentions of continually re-purposing and iterating on current hardware, both of our subs have been mechanically designed with modularity in mind, allowing for each sub to perform a variety of different mission tasks.
Lots of processing power.
In order to support then demanding computational needs of our autonomous system, Leviathan is equipped with an Intel i7 and NVDIA GTX 1050 Ti
Fancy new pneumatics.
For the 2019 competition, we replaced our clunky, heavy pneumatics container with a smaller, lighter, and more elegant box machined from 6061-T6 Aluminum and backed with Carbon Fiber.
Double bores... everywhere.
To ensure the protection of our electronic components in an underwater environment we have outfitted the majority of our enclosures with double bore seals to increase redundancy and minimize risk.
By using pneumatically operated droppers we have removed all moving components and reduced points of failure.
Burst disk torpedoes.
To increase the power and range of our torpedoes underwater we introduced aluminum foil burst disks into our torpedo launching system that allow for nearly triple our aquatic firing range!