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09/22/2013

CUAUV Welcomes New Members

We are very excited to welcome these new faces to the team. We look forward to working with you all!


08/28/2013

CUAUV is recruiting for the 2013-2014 year!!!

Are you interested in building a robotic submarine? Want to get involved in an internationally-recognized, hands-on engineering project? Consider joining CUAUV! The team will be hosting recruitment info sessions during the second week of classes. Looking forward to meeting you! Applications are online at http://cuauv.org/apply/. Information sessions: Wednesday, Sept 4, 5:00pm - 7:00pm, Upson 211 Sunday, Sept. 8, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, RPCC 205 Monday, Sept. 9, 5:00pm - 7:00pm, Upson 211 Email any questions regarding recruiting to mb833@cornell.edu and pc426@cornell.edu


07/30/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Finals Day

After a long, stressful, and very exciting day of finals, we put Ragnark in the TRANSDEC waters for his last time.

Markus Burkardt helping a volunteer Navy diver get Ragnark out of the water. Team members from left to right: Ellen Thiel, James Fu, Markus Burkardt
Team members lifting Ragnark into TRANSDEC and preparing the tether. Team members from left to right: James Fu, Ellen Thiel, Alex Spitzer, Markus Burkardt

We had had one practice run earlier that day where most of the run went well except that Ragnark had trouble detecting the pipe right after the gate. An exciting part of the run was when Ragnark was able to turn the steering wheel 1080 degrees.

A close up view of one of the software team member's computer screen.
A volunteer Navy diver guiding Ragnark back to the dock at the end of his practice run.
Alex Spitzer coding intently at the last practice run before sending Ragnark off to the finals.

At 1:00 the final runs began. We all watched the other teams compete, until it was finally our turn.

Ragnark's final run was probably his best run of the entire competition. He went straight through the gate, found the first pipe, rammed the orange buoy, drove sideways through the parallel parking gate, missed the first torpedo, got the second torpedo through the small hole, hit both bins dead center, shifted the lever, attempted but did not fully turn the steering wheel, and completed the pizza delivery task all with five minutes left on the clock.

Ragnark doing the pizza delivery, also known as the hydrophones, task.

Everyone was extremely happy about how the final run turned out, and proceeded to throw Markus Burkardt into the dolphin pool as is CUAUV tradition when we achieve first place.

Later that night was the formal banquet where they announced the official scores. After the ceremony, we disassembled Ragnark and packed everything up to be shipped home the next day

The final scoring for the 2013 AUVSI RoboSub competition:

1st: Cornell University 2nd: University of Florida 3rd: Far Eastern Federal University 4th: University of Maryland 5th: Harbin Engineering University 6th: Amador Valley High School 7th: National University of Singapore 8th: Falcon Robotics

Special Awards: Best New Entry: National University of Singapore Bang for the Buck: Daytona Beach Area Homeschool Best Paper: Cornell University Best Static: Ecole de Technoligical University Outreach (3-way tie): Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Carl Hayden High School, North Carolina State University

CUAUV would like to thank everyone that made this competition possible, especially Daryl Davidson, Pamela Smith, Susan Nelson, Cheri Koch, Stephanie Unkel, Dave Novick, Zoz Brooks, 5:00 Films, the Navy Volunteer Divers, and all of our competitors.


07/28/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day Five




Raggy finally getting some sun.



A close up of our strafing Seabotix thrusters.



Today brought even more teams arriving more than normal extremely early hours just in order to sign up for the earliest possible time slots. We arrived the earliest we had this week, but we still were only fifth in line. Thankfully, we were still able to get two practice runs in addition to our semi-final run.

We decided to have a late practice run at 11:00 in order to see how Ragnark would react to brighter lighting conditions. Our practice run brought some issues with the pipes and buoys, but the mission after the buoys went just swimmingly.




Untangling the tether and hanging out around the sub before a practice run.
Team members from left to right: Edward Gong, Ellen Thiel, James Fu, Markus Burkardt



Ragnark being lifted into the chilly waters for his first practice run of the day.
Team members from left to right: James Fu, Markus Burkardt, Sam Tome



Summer team members socializing with non-summer team members that came to watch the semi-finals as Ragnark navigates through TRANSDEC.
Team members from left to right: Alvin Wijaya, Alex Malcoci, Dave Kelly

We then had another semifinal run at 4:00. The way the judging works is that the judges take the best of your two semi-final scores to determine whether or not you advance to the final round. We are always trying to do the best that we and Ragnark can do, but since we had already scored well enough in our first semi-final run, it would not be detrimental to our advancement if we did not do well in the second semi-final run.




Ragnark being carried to his second semi-final run.
Team members from left to right: Sam Tome, Markus Burkadt

This was good for us because we encountered many problems in the second run. The reason for the problem was unknown, and, even though we tried to restart the mission multiple times, we were unable to get the mission to work properly. So software decided to use the remaining time to test hydrophones. We ended up second in our placement of the semi-final runs, but we still were able to get the time slot we wanted to do our final run on Sunday.




Software watching Ragnark during the second semi-final run.
Team members from left to right: Alex Malcoci, Markus Burkardt, Thomas Brooks, Alex Spitzer, Peter Tseng, Edward Gong




We got another practice run in later on that day, and software was able to find and fix the error from the previous semi-final run.

After returning to the hotel from TRANSDEC, software worked on code, and everyone tried to get a good night's worth of sleep for the coming day: finals day.


07/28/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day Four

The first semi-final runs were today!

CUAUV was able to place into the finals with the scores from our first semi-final runs. Overall, the run went smoothly. We had some time issues, we werent able to complete the driving task due to some vision problems causing that mission to time out. We also were picking up the wrong pinger when we went for the hydrophones task, causing more time delays. We did have enough time to complete part of the hydrophones task, however. We were still able to locate one of the pingers, find the recovery object, descend upon the object, and grab it with the piston arms. However, since we were very low on time, that mission timed out right as we grabbed the recovery object, causing us to release it instantly and surface. We did surface in the target areas, allowing for some more points to be grabbed. We also managed to go through the gates, follow four pipes, ram both the orange buoy and an led buoy, fire a torpedo through a small hole, and drop a marker into the number 10 bin.

Afterwards, software decided to work on making it so that we decreased the amount of time we spent searching in between elements. We decided to do a later semi-final run on Saturday in order to prepare for possibly sunnier lighting conditions during the final run as well.


07/27/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day Three

A close up of our hydrophones sensors, carefully protected inside the frame of the submarine.
Ragnark in his full glory.

There was no time to laze around when we arrived early at TRANSDEC this morning, as the media had made their arrival as well! At 6:00, the local San Diego news filmed Ragnark taking a quick dip in the water, as well as talking with Markus Burkardt, CUAUV team leader, and other team leaders. There was also a Good morning San Diego" shout out with competitors from lots of different teams, including Cornell, cheering in the background.

Team leader, Markus Burkardt, meeting with the local San Diego news for a morning interview right before the semi final run.

We had three practice runs on thursday, instead of the usual four, as pretty much all teams were signing up for TRANSDEC pool time by that point in the competition.

Although our morning practice runs started off to a slow start, Ragnark eventually picked up the pace, ending with some good autonomous mission runs. After a long showing of unusually cloudy weather in San Diego, the sun finally decided to show and we were able to test vision. Everything with tuning went smoothly, much to softwares surprise. We were also able to tone Ragnarks skills at driving with a steering wheel, making the centering success of the forward manipulation device more reliable.

A far away shot of the practice run at TRANSDEC, mid-mission. Team members from left to right: James Fu, Markus Burkardt, Edward Gong, Ellen Thiel, Alex Spitzer, Andre Vazquez, Thomas Brooks, Peter, Alex Malcoci
Ragnark being set free to do his thing in TRANSDEC.
The software team fixing some bugs they found after running a practice autonomous mission.
Ragnark going for the bins task, and soon after the torpedo task.
Ragnark making a pizza delivery to the drop off pinger.

Due to our placement as the third team to qualify for semi-finals two days prior, we got the third place for picking our time slot for the semi-final run on Friday. At 6:00, team leaders gathered around to pick their slots, and we ended up happily with an 11:00 semi-final run time.

That night, we were very kindly taken out to dinner at a local Asian-Hawaiian restaurant by a team members parents who were visiting the competition. As we waited for seating and food, software discussed the mission and their plan for the next day, and then the team was able to relax with some good company and delicious food.

Afterwards, some people from the team gathered to help out in preparing for static judging at the hotel. We helped out Markus Burkardt in putting a presentation together to be presented the next day for the judges. After that, many people, especially software, decided to call it quits for the day in order to get what little rest we could for the next day.

MechE Alex and software Alex having fun with power tools. They are fixing a problem we encountered with the mission start button on the kill switch, due to the Hall effect sensor not picking up the magnet.
Team members, Markus Burkardt and Ellen Thiel, checking out Ragnark before hoisting him into the water.


07/27/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day Three

A close up of our hydrophones sensors, carefully protected inside the frame of the submarine.
Ragnark in his full glory.

There was no time to laze around when we arrived early at TRANSDEC this morning, as the media had made their arrival as well! At 6:00, the local San Diego news filmed Ragnark taking a quick dip in the water, as well as talking with Markus Burkardt, CUAUV team leader, and other team leaders. There was also a Good morning San Diego shout out with competitors from lots of different teams, including Cornell, cheering in the background.

Team leader, Markus Burkardt, meeting with the local San Diego news for a morning interview right before the semi final run.

We had three practice runs on thursday, instead of the usual four, as pretty much all teams were signing up for TRANSDEC pool time by that point in the competition.

Although our morning practice runs started off to a slow start, Ragnark eventually picked up the pace, ending with some good autonomous mission runs. After a long showing of unusually cloudy weather in San Diego, the sun finally decided to show and we were able to test vision. Everything with tuning went smoothly, much to softwares surprise. We were also able to tone Ragnarks skills at driving with a steering wheel, making the centering success of the forward manipulation device more reliable.

A far away shot of the practice run at TRANSDEC, mid-mission. Team members from left to right: James Fu, Markus Burkardt, Edward Gong, Ellen Thiel, Alex Spitzer, Andre Vazquez, Thomas Brooks, Peter, Alex Malcoci
Ragnark being set free to do his thing in TRANSDEC.
The software team fixing some bugs they found after running a practice autonomous mission.
Ragnark going for the bins task, and soon after the torpedo task.
Ragnark making a pizza delivery to the drop off pinger.

Due to our placement as the third team to qualify for semi-finals two days prior, we got the third place for picking our time slot for the semi-final run on Friday. At 6:00, team leaders gathered around to pick their slots, and we ended up happily with an 11:00 semi-final run time.

That night, we were very kindly taken out to dinner at a local Asian-Hawaiian restaurant by a team members parents who were visiting the competition. As we waited for seating and food, software discussed the mission and their plan for the next day, and then the team was able to relax with some good company and delicious food.

Afterwards, some people from the team gathered to help out in preparing for static judging at the hotel. We helped out Markus Burkardt in putting a presentation together to be presented the next day for the judges. After that, many people, especially software, decided to call it quits for the day in order to get what little rest we could for the next day.

MechE Alex and software Alex having fun with power tools. They are fixing a problem we encountered with the mission start button on the kill switch, due to the Hall effect sensor not picking up the magnet.
Team members: Markus Burkardt and Ellen Thiel, checking out Ragnark before hoisting him into the water.


07/25/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day Two

One of the programs used and designed by our software team, called CAVE, CUAUV Automated Vision Evaluator, featuring a volunteer Navy diver, Brian Adams. It is used to help software to test and see the effects of changes in their vision code without having to actually have the submarine in the water.

Our second day started very similarly to the first. We raced to beat the sunrise to TRANSDEC and won. We were also the first team to arrive, which allowed us to sign up for more favorable time slots to do our practice runs.

We managed to get four runs into our time at TRANSDEC, and we tried multiple full autonomous missions throughout the day. We didnt have any problems connecting to the sub or getting any part of our sub to mechanically or electrically function, which we were happy about.

During our time in the water, we improved our hydrophones approach, saving us valuable competition time, and our torpedo task was successful under new lighting conditions. While we were able to turn the steering wheel, the code was still being worked on, seeing as Daves course is still proving to be challenging, as expected.

Wednesday was also the day for team pictures and videos. We brought Ragnark up the hill to his new Mustang convertible, courtesy of the photo shoot. Although we didnt have enough time to finish our pictures and videos the first time we came up, later that day, after our final practice run, we traveled back up to finish the job. No one had really thought of any ideas for our crazy film, so after some hectic scrambling we managed settle on fourteen team members piling into the five seat car while cheering Edward Gong on as he did a backflip in front of the car. We were told it turned out amazing.

After a long, satisfying day at the pool, we returned to the Kona Kai. Software continued to work diligently on the submarine code; however, since there were no mechanical or electrical issues to fix, we managed to relax a bit with some smores and a little friendly volleyball game against a fellow competing RoboSub team, S.O.N.I.A.. Since we did not keep track of points during the game, we left the title of Number One Volleyball Champion of RoboSub up to the last point won in the game. And now, CUAUV would like to congratulate S.O.N.I.A. on their new title of honor.

Team members carrying Ragnark to his crane mounting point in order to be lowered into the pool. Team members from left to right: Kuen Kuen Sim, Samuel Tome
Ragnark being lowered down, with help from the volunteer Navy diver, Liam OBrian, into the competition side of the TRANSDEC pool.
The software team getting ready for a practice run. Team members from left to right: Kuen Kuen Sim, Edward Gong, Alex Spitzer, Thomas Brooks
The Navy divers lining Ragnark up for one of his autonomous mission runs. Team members: Alex Malcoci watching tether
The software team sporting their classy new CUAUV fun shirts that we order every year. Team members from left to right: Thomas Brooks, Alex Spitzer, Edward Gong
Team members communicating with the divers and relaying messages from the Team Leader, Markus Burkardt in order to allow the practice run to go smoothly and to get information on how Ragnark is doing. Team members from left to right: Peter Gu, Samuel Tome
Ragnark driving straight and true through the gate, marking the start of a mission run.
Ragnark finishing his time in the practice run by completing the hydrophones task.
The software team collaborating and Edward Gong taking a picture with Google Glass. Ok glass -Ed Team members from left to right: Edward Gong, Alex Spitzer, Luigi, Thomas Brooks


07/24/2013

Ragnark At Transdec: Day One

We landed safe and sound in San Diego on Saturday and Sunday this week, excited to start the RoboSub competition. Quickly, we unpacked and spent the first night rebuilding Ragnark in the first hotel, and borrowed the hotel pool to do some quick trimming of the submarine. As is to be expected, there were a few bugs that needed to be straightened out after reassembly, mostly consisting of problems with the actuators system. However, we did not have enough time in our first hotel to fix these few problems.

Testing the sub the after assembly to make sure everything works fine. Team members from left to right: Markus Burkardt, Alex Malcoci, Alex Spitzer

The next day was spent moving the vehicle to the Kona Kai. We did a full physical on Ragnark to make sure everything was in order. We identified the actuator problem to be a faulty cable, and we promptly spliced a new cable. At the same time, we were also trying to fix some battery problems that occurred, which turned out to be much more exciting than expected. One of our lithium polymer batteries was dangerously swelling due to unknown causes, and we had to dispose of it properly and safely at TRANSDEC the following morning.

Setting up the banner outside our rooms in the Kona Kai Resort. Team members from left to right: Thomas Brooks, Alex Malcoci

We arrived bright and early to TRANSDEC in order to grab one of the first time slots for practice runs. Much needed coffee was one of the next things to arrive. We also erected our new and beautiful software chteau to allow the software team to easily code without any glare from the sun, to communicate together, and to give them a distraction-free zone to work their magic.

Once the sub hit the water, we brought Ragnark to life and had him drive through the gate, thus qualifying for semi-finals! We then proceeded to do some more testing with other mission elements.

Our next practice run got off to a bumpy start when we were having problems communicating to Ragnark, but we temporarily fixed the problem on deck by connecting the tether directly to one of the software members computers, instead of to the router. Later we were able to completely solve the problem back in our tent. Ragnark had a blast driving to the mission elements, turning a steering wheel, shifting a shifter, and making friends with the divers.

Our third practice run followed similarly to the second run, driving from task to task while doing autonomous runs on individual tasks. The fourth and final practice run was the very last run of the day in the TRANSDEC competition pool, and also our best run of the day. We first attempted a full, autonomous mission run but were unable to complete it because we had to tweak parts of the code to adjust for the difference in lighting at that time of day. However, after those quick changes were made, the sub was able to ram the orange buoy, drop the marker droppers into the correct bins, shoot torpedoes through the small holes in the torpedo target, and pick up and deliver some pizza. Lots of good pool testing time was had, and it was a great way to send off our first day at TRANSDEC!

Ragnark being lowered into TRANSDEC
The structure used to help the software team to see their computer screens without glare. Team members from left to right: James Fu, Ellen Thiel
Software team setting up for a practice run. Team members from left to right: Ellen Thiel, James Fu, Markus Burkardt, Edward Gong, Thomas Brooks
A front view of the software chateau. Team member: James Fu

It was a full day for Ragnark and all of the CUAUV members. Lots of good pool time was had, and we got to visit the other teams and see all the amazing work that everyone has done with their submarines. CUAUV would like to send out a thanks to all the amazing volunteers and sponsors that make this competition possible!


07/15/2013

Ragnark Showcase Video

CUAUV is excited to showcase our newest vehicle, Ragnark, and to participate in the upcoming RoboSub competition!



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