At a Glance

Puddles is the team's newest AUV and will make its debut at RoboSub 2019. It is the successor to Maelstrom.

Year 2018 - 2019
Competition          AUVSI RoboSub 2019
Weight 90 lbs
Dimensions 36.0" x 31.0" x 14.0"
Controller STM32-based Custom Board
Computer Intel i7 on Diamond Systems Venus SBC
Thrusters 8x Blue Robotics T200
Cameras 3x Pointgrey BlackFly USB
1x CCTV Camera World IP Security Camera     

Journal Paper

Cameras on Puddles

In the underwater domain, we are quite limited as to the types of sensors we can use to understand our surroundings. Cameras (backed by a decent image processing algorithm) are the most inexpensive and reliable way to achieve this. Puddles has four cameras in total: three of the cameras are internal and used for navigation, and one camera is external and used for visual servoing.

The three internal cameras are PointGrey Blackflys. One camera faces forward and the two others face downward. These camera feeds are used to navigate and align to the next task. Sometimes it is enough to only use these three cameras for a given task. If manipulation is involved, a fourth camera is required to monitor the grabbing action.

The fourth external camera was adapted from a security camera by CCTV Camera World. This camera is unique because it is a special IP camera that is made to be submersible and allows us the flexibility to mount it outside of our main watertight housing. With this flexibility, we are able to mount the camera right next to our manipulator system to get a clear view of the task the bot is interacting with.

Additionally, this camera can be unmounted from the vehicle and submerged in a static location in our testing pool to get a third-person view of the robot while it’s in operation. This provides better insight to what is actually going on under the water, since it is difficult to see from the surface.