The Air and Aquatic Robot Research team is part of Dr. Sean Anderson’s PIRATE lab and is a multidisciplinary group of faculty and undergraduates in the fields of Biology, Environmental Science and Computer Science, working to improve research and data collection through the use of unmanned systems. The current focus is on underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for both research and education. The advisory group of faculty consists of: Dr. Sean Anderson (Environmental Science), Dr. Geoffrey Dilly (Biology), Dr. Cause Hanna (Environmental Science) and Dr. David Claveau (Computer Science).

The ROVs will be used as first an educational tool. In a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  grant program called Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET), CSUCI will be teaming up with local under served middle and high schools to teach children about Marine Biology, Environmental Science, and encourage a future in Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) disciplines.

The team is currently working to assemble 4 different ROV platforms, and will be objectively testing them for future use. The first type is an OpenROV, which is an open source kit which is based on Arduino technology, which has powerful features in a small package. Two other types are the Triggerfish and Pufferfish, these are made by an organizing body of ROV competitions, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE). The MATE ROVs are simple but proven to be effective effective designs. The final type is called the BlueROV, it is similar to the OpenROV, however it runs on a Raspberry Pi based system and boasts more maneuverability.

The first OpenROV has been constructed, and a second one is underway. The Triggerfish assembly should occur in the next few weeks!

Paul Spaur – Undergraduate Lead

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