By Andy Choi
As part of capstone senior project, the Stevens Institute of Technology Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) Senior Design Team is all set to participate at the international event based on unmanned vessel technology.
From June 20 to 24, 2012, the newly-designed ASV will be demonstrated at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), where the 5th International RoboBoat Competition is being held. This platform will integrate science and engineering students to demonstrate their own ASVs, where the vessels have to prove its robustness and efficiency through an intricate aquatic obstacle course.
The aquatic obstacle course includes ASV navigation through colored buoys, followed by other challenges like picking up a hockey puck with subsequent landing. The vehicle needs to self-sufficient enough to autonomously perform the tasks.
A Microsoft Kinect camera was linked to the ship's onboard computer for tilting, sensing, and panning. The Kinect camera is capable of detecting the depth and interacting with the onboard computer to indicate the position of object in the vessel's path.
Following the design and construction of the ASV, the Stevens team installed the sensing capability prior to the major testing conducted at the Davidson Laboratory towing tank. This high speed towing tank is placed at Stevens. It accommodates a straight tank of water up to 313 ft long and width up to 16 ft. It can hold water depths up to 7 ft high.
Travis Krichman serves as the project manager of the ASV project. Edmund Hoffman serves as the project’s mechatronics engineer and Computer Engineering team’s primary liaison.