Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sea Scouts Have A Great Learning Experience.

Saturday, we were up early and at the Alpena High School by 8:00 AM. The Sea Scouts were first up for their 40 minute Engineering Evaluation presentation before the panel of judges. The team came away feeling confident they had done well.  After a short wait it was on to the pool  and the real competition.

The team had ROV "Indomitable" in the water and operational within the allotted 5 minutes. The thrusters easily moved the ROV across the pool and down to 8 feet but that's when a major problem was encountered.

At below 8 feet the machine lost it's mobility and control became difficult as it was pushed down further. The tasks lay in 10 feet of water, a depth the ROV had not been tested at.  None of the tasks were able to be completed. While very disappointed the scouts really took defeat gracefully and saw the experience as a great learning experience.  They are determine to solve the problem and come back next year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arrival in Alpena for the Great Lakes Regional ROV Competition

We arrived after a long 7 hour drive at the Holiday Inn, Alpena, Michigan, our home for the next several days.
 Within minutes the Sea Scouts were in their swimsuits and placing ROV "Indomitable" in the water. The first thing that was done was to check the buoyancy of the vehicle and balance it so that it had a slightly negative float.
Once that was done, Crew Leader, Gabriel and ROV Driver, Nate took  the ROV off across the pool and through it's paces.
The machine performed very well (note, it was in 4-5 feet of water) as it went through the various tasks that it would be required to do the next day for the competition. In the photo below you see ROV "Indomitable" about to insert the HRH power/communications connector into the port on HUGO.
Well it was early to bed after a great meal in the Holiday Inn restaurant. We will see what tomorrow brings. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sea Scout Ship 41 Heads to Alpena, MI

We have our BSA "Local Tour Permit" approved and signed by Greater Cleveland Council to head out as the sun rises Friday morning. We will head north to Alpena, Michigan and the 2010 Great Lakes Regional ROV Competition.

 There are 15 teams competing from 10 different schools and colleges.  It should be a great experience and a lot of fun - who knows we may even come home with an award. Stand by for photos and news.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sea Scout ROV "Indomitable" in First Pool Test

With our collective breaths held, it was all systems go as ROV "Indomitable" was gently lowered into the water at the Westlake Rec. Center pool.. Take a look at this very short YouTube video, it gives a really good idea of the progress that has been made since our first design meeting in January.

Friday, April 2, 2010

ROV Dry Land Run Through by Sea Scouts

Finally the Sea Scouts have the ROV "Indomitable" assembled and in great working order. We placed the tasks as they are laid out on the MATE  video. This is a great demonstration video and we watched several times to get a good idea of the requirements.

Gideon acted as our prime mover as Nate operated the claws on the mechanical arm.

There was no problem removing the pin from the elevator releasing the HRH and placing it on the site emitting the sound picked up by the hydrophone.

The ROV "Indomitable" then moved over and removed the cap from HUGO and placed the connector in the port..

The next task required the ROV to maneuver into a six foot long cave and remove, after hitting the back wall,  three samples of a new species of crustacean.

Not so easy, the claw grabbed two but only surfaced with one crustacean.  A redesign of the claw coverings maybe needed?

(The next task of sampling the temperature of three vents is a work in process. The cabling is in the tether and the thermocouple is in place.)

Picking up the sample of the bacteria mass was relatively simple with Gideon positioning the ROV.

It remains to be seen if the rear tilt motor will have enough power to thrust the sampling tube into the mass.

Below is a photo of the camera picture on a computer along with the control box.  The compressed air gauges are on the left.  Next week we have the first in the pool test!!!!