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RobotX Report

RobotX Report

21-Sep-2016 BlueZone Group is a proud sponsor of the University of Newcastle’s 2016 Maritime RobotX team, which competes on an international stage against some the most prestigious engineering institutions around the pacific rim. This December the competition is based in Honolulu Hawaii and the team has been busy developing their MKII platform, based on the 16’ WAM-V by Marine Advanced Research.

Looking to build upon their 7th place of the previous competition the team has completely redesigned the hardware underpinning the vessels guidance, navigation and control (GNC) systems. Relying solely on computer vision for navigation requires a lot of computing power, so each camera’s data stream is processed on a miniature PC more powerful than many computers found in the home and office. However, processing all that data generates a lot of heat so a complete closed loop water cooling system has been implemented in the primary electronics enclosure (pictured below). To cap it all off the entire internal skin of the electronics enclosure is mounted on  shock and vibration isolators ensuring the critical components are kept safe from harm.

The MKII vessel is expected to have her maiden voyage in September to test the GNC system, but there is still many secondary systems which need to be integrated into the vessel, these include: A hydrophone array - for passive sonar localisation, active sonar and an air cannon. Stay tuned for updates over the coming months as the competition draws closer!

The 16’ WAM-V at the University of Newcastle. The boat can be disassembled by two people into 7 components in less than 3 minutes and can easily be deployed from ships or small craft with limited manpower.

A complete closed loop water cooling system has been implemented in the primary electronics enclosure to dissipate heat form the powerful computers used for computer vision applications.



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