The students at Washington State University (WSU) have finished building a self-operated robotic submarine that has been entered into the 16th annual International RoboSub Competition in San Diego. The yearly competition is hosted by both the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.
The competition is also proudly sponsored by American Grippers Inc. (AGI), who is in full support of the WSU RoboSub team and their efforts to incorporate a pneumatic gripper into their submarine. Last year was the first year that Washington State had entered the competition and finished decently, advancing to the semi-finals finishing 22nd out of 31 teams.
The students of the WSU RoboSub team spent most of the past year writing a sophisticated code for the software system that would control the hardware on the machine. With this new machine, the students are able to control the movement and how deep the robotic submarine can go. It is also able to collect data from every sensor that has been engrained into the AUV.
The Robotic submarine also has the capability of firing two torpedoes, dropping both of its markers and actuating its robotic gripper claw. Maybe the coolest and most sophisticated software is the image recognition software that was integrated last year. The software has the ability to detect and maneuver past obstacles like the starting gate, heading paths and buoys and the torpedo targets.
The WSU RoboSub team worked closely with AGI, and without their support and funding the submarine’s pneumatic actuators wouldn’t have been able to complete its basic functions like grip, rotate or pick-up and place objects.
The Washington State students will continue to adapt and improve their hardware to make it more adaptable and power-efficient for future competitions.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman