Archive for October, 2011

Another year, another robot!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The RoboSub Competition has finished with NCSU making its best finish ever, placing 8th of 27 teams and making it into the finals for the first time.  Congratulations to SONIA for getting in first place with an amazing final run!

We’re already excited for next year and have begun work on Seawolf V.  Most of the robot will be redesigned and rethought completely.  We’ll post plenty of details in future blog posts, but for now, here is an overview of our progress:

  • Software – We have already re-architected the vision system since competition.  We now have the capability to process binocular vision data in two different processes.  Thanks to our recent Intel sponsorship, we have a brand new i7 processor with 4 cores and 8 threads!  This is a huge improvement over our old single core Atom.  Thanks Intel!
  • Electrical – We have started peripheral communication, power distribution, thruster control and all other electrical design entirely from scratch this year.  We are throwing away all our Arduino microcontrollers and instead using the MSP430.
  • Mechanical – We have already modeled most of Seawolf V.  Thanks a lot to TechShop, who is letting us use their facilities to construct our new robot.  Thanks to them, we will be machining our own ABS plastic for the frame.  If you haven’t heard already, the newly designed Seawolf V will look like a tie bomber!
  • Acoustics – We have two different acoustics projects in progress this year.  One is an undergraduate research project by Chris Thunes, which will utilize a Blackfin DSP and an MSP430.  He already has his board’s first revision in the debugging stage.  The other acoustics project is going to utilize a Gumstix after doing filtering in analog.

Look out for more blog posts in the near future about Seawolf  V as we continue development.  We’re going to be keeping busy so remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!