The Underwater Robotics Club's most recent robot is the vision of our lead mechanical engineer. Striving to design something different than we have ever attempted, we constructed an aluminum chassis with an unprecedented six thrusters for increased stability. Also new to Seawolf VI is an acoustics system that uses a custom four channel analog filter circuit mounted onto a BeagleBone Black microcomputer.
The grid-like modular design of the exterior panels allows for a customizable array of attachments which can be replaced with ease. ultilizing 3D-printing, these panels can be individually designed for appendages such as the thrusters,cameras, dropper, grabber and torpedo launcher. The cylindar machined hull includes waterproofed end caps with a custom o-ring to protect the housed electronics. Fischer connectors are used to interface between the inside hull and outside peripherals of the robot.
Seawolf VI continues to use the software framework originally written for Seawolf V. Improvements and additions were made to the vision and mission control applications in order to accomplish the new tasks in the 2015 competition rules. In addition, the PID control applications have been rewritten in Python, from their previous C version, allowing for more flexibility.
Seawolf VI's custom electronics system design was completely revamped to incorporate an array of six circuit boards, each having a unique key function in the overall electrical system functionality. A dedicated power board connects up to two 24V lithium polymer batteries in parallel, as well provide telemetry to the main computer about how much charge is left in the batteries. A thruster board controls up to six Seabotix thrusters simultaneously. A sensor board presents the robot with an array of connectors for adding various sensors to the robot's arsenal. There is also a dedicated serial board facilitated communication between the main computer, all the boards described above, and the acoustics system inside seawolf's hull.