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 Ragnarök 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 Ragnarök 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 château 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 Ragnarök 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 Ragnarök, but we temporarily fixed the problem on deck by connecting the tether directly to one of the software member’s computers, instead of to the router. Later we were able to completely solve the problem back in our tent. Ragnarök 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!
Ragnarök 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 Ragnarök 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!