Much to the amusement to the local press, our software team of Henry Mason and Nick Elser (above) donned their Lawrence of San Diego headwear (which might be hotel towels) in order to read their laptop screens in the sunshine of TRANSDEC. We were also required to keep the electronics rack protected from blowing dirt. Fortunately, Henry and Nick were able to continue polishing their lines of code that control the Proteus during our pool tests today. The mission software was able to track the optical beacons on the buoys, identify and hover over marker bins, grab the treasure, and surface with it in the recovery zone. Check back soon for more media from today's testing.
Henry Mason joined the team in San Diego this morning, bringing our total crew to 12 and filling out the software segment of the competition team.
Above, he (at left) works with fellow software guru Nick Elser (at right) on the Proteus' mission logic in our hotel. The vehicle's central computer, Eddy, is ready to direct further vehicle testing. There were tense moments at the pool last night when Eddy's memory got wet, but after drying out for several hours, Eddy is working again.
Today's list of problems grew after this evening's pool test. We were proud to bring our fully assembled vehicle to our hotel's pool for testing (above), but after several minutes in the water, a battery pod leaked and damaged the circuitry inside. Further testing of the other battery pods led to another leak and circuit failure. We still have two pairs of pods remaining, but we are being very cautious to verify the pods' sealings before further pool testing can continue. Erin Fischell will be working very hard tonight to make these verifications.
Unfortunately, Kirill's Switch Box suffered a failure. Although it was operating normally earlier today, we were unable to resurrect it. Above, Adam Hart installs a workaround to preserve the kill switch feature on the vehicle. Testing this evening has shown that it works.
The Proteus survived its overnight journey to San Diego and was unloaded before lunch today. Our vehicle has been successfully reassembled and powered up, and we hope to test it tonight in our hotel's pool.
After fairly smooth travels on Monday, the competition segment of the team has arrived in San Diego. We scouted out the TRANSDEC facility, where the competition will take place, while waiting for the Proteus to arrive via FedEx on Tuesday.
This is Peter Sullivan reporting from San Diego, and I'll be adding more updates, photos, and videos in the coming days as our team progresses. Thanks for your interest in our team, and please check our front page or our RSS feed often!
CUAUV is proud to announce Nexlogic as the team's 2007 Diamond sponsor! Nexlogic is a premier provider of PCB design, fabrication, and assembly services. This year they provided our team with much of the custom designed circuit boards that power the Proteus autonomous underwater vehicle. Ever since Don Shell, Nexlogic's Director of Business Development, approached us with his company's intent to help student engineering projects, we've been impressed by Nexlogic's level of support. They truly understand the type of problems that a small engineering team faces and have committed themselves to solving them. CUAUV is therefore proud to officially announce our 2007 AUV, the Cornell-Nexlogic Proteus!
CUAUV members in Ithaca this summer were treated to a 3-day visit to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) at Cape Cod, MA. Not only is WHOI the largest non-profit oceanographic institution in the world, it is also the birthplace of autonomous underwater vehicles, including the REMUS, ABE, and SeaBed platforms. Cornell students toured the facility and engaged in lectures and tours from the researchers and engineers at WHOI. CUAUV's new vehicle, the Proteus was also presented.
Special thanks to Mr. Jim Clark, a longtime supporter of both Cornell and WHOI research for making our visit possible; to Jessica Traynor of Cornell's Alumni Affairs and Development office for organizing the trip; and most of all to the gracious hosts at WHOI for sharing their experience with us.
This weekend CUAUV hosted a Girl Scout Workshop where four troops from the local area were taught the information they needed to earn their Science in Action Badges. The workshop included five stations where the girls learned about bridge building, cell phones, firefighters, engineers, and CUAUV in general. There was also a special presentation by an electrical engineering professor here at Cornell, Sheila Hemami, who was featured on the girl scout website explored by the girls, engineergirl.org. The workshop was an enormous success. Be sure to look for an article about it in the Cornell Chronicle!