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The "CAUV 2008"
By Cambridge University, UK
Posted on October 10th, 2008
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Our GUI software showing the two image streams as well as the telemetry window and message log in the background.

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Some more of the GUI.

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When the PICO module was first tested in the hull we disovered that it didnít like being in such a confined space with resticted airflow and would peridoically cut out to protect itself from overheating, and we certainly didnít want this happening 10 meters underwater with no way of contacting it. Replacing the standard heat transfer pads with our own thermal paste and fitting some side mounted fans to the module solved this problem. Although, this could have been caused by not replacing the heat sink properly after we changed the holding screws.

Click to launch image viewer

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A day of testing a few weeks before the competition at the underwater stage at Pinewood Studios.

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One of the great things about building a light AUV is that it can fit into a RC helicopter case and be carried around easily. And when the AUV is in the water the travel case is excellent for keep the beers cool.

The Results

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Overall, using the Pico-ITX was a great decision and was one of the most reliable systems on the AUV. We are looking forward to stringing together a couple of Mobile-ITX boards to get some parallel processing going. But in the mean time we will be working on the Pico-ITX to perfect the operation of our AUV.

- Our problem solving skills were tested day and night and we managed to fix the majority of problems.

- We were the lightest AUV, but not by as much as last year, one of the French teams has shrunk their AUV down to 15kg.

- We built 90% of the AUV from scratch. Thruster motors were hand wound. Most PCBs designed in-house. Moulds for CF done on lathe, same for Aluminium connectors. Image recognition, Hough transforms, Canny edge detection, colour segmentation from scratch.

- We used LiPol batteries and got them working with our own battery management module.

- We won a prize: Special Award for Innovation in Systems Engineering from DCNS.

- We have had some salt water pool testing

For more information visit http://www.cambridgeauv.co.uk


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