Marine Advanced Technology Education

2013 MATE International ROV Competition

Linn-Benton Community College Albany, Oregon USA Explorer Class

from Linn-Benton Community College, presents

The Narwhal
4. Design Rationale 1. Abstract
The Narwhal before pool testing in June The Narwhal during pool testing in April


Bouyant Frame
After considering various materials for frame construction, we decided on PVC, because it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to work with. Due to its hollow nature, it is naturally buoyant if sealed properly. We have successfully tested the schedule 40 PVC we used up to 15 meters of depth. The disadvantage of a PVC frame is that it cannot be disassembled once glued. However, because the material is inexpensive and easy to work with, a new frame can be assembled in as little as 45 minutes for $65. Prototypes were tested before gluing by sealing the joints with petroleum jelly. This allowed our team to iterate new prototypes quickly, enabling our design to remain flexible. We are currently on our 4th main revision of the PVC frame. The evolutionary timeline to the left shows the major revisions and reasons for changes
Arduino and ethernet shield inside aluminum pressure housing

5. Safety
Company Safety Philosophy
Safety is a primary goal of our company. We are dedicated to exploring, testing, and rapidly prototyping new ideas, but none of our objectives are worth sacrificing our health and well-being. LBCC ROV realizes that many of the tools and materials we are dealing with can be dangerous or hazardous to our health (sometimes in nonobvious ways). To mitigate this, we have implemented the following safety practices: prominently posted in multiple locations in the lab, taught to all new members of the team, and enforced by positive peer pressure. The safety practices are designed first to prevent severe bodily harm (such as from electricity or power tools), long term disability (deafness from loud machinery, blindness from lasers), and lastly to prevent harm to the ROV or our tools.

The LBCC Narwhal is a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) developed by LBCC for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center to install, maintain, and retrieve ocean observation systems. Primary design goals for the Narwhal were to make it modular, simple, and cost effective. The team built an open frame chassis to allow easy access to vital systems housed inside the frame. The snap-on clip design permits components to be mounted, repositioned, and removed easily. Five Seabotics thrusters provide multi-directional propulsion for the Narwhal in three axes. All tasks are executed by a versatile manipulator with a wide range of vertical motion and the capability for full 360 degree rotation of the gripper. With support for up to 8 cameras, the Narwhal grants maximum field of vision to the pilot. It is controlled with a custom graphical user interface using a joypad on a laptop connected via Ethernet to the Narwhal. The simplicity of the Narwhal’s design fulfills the company’s overall goal of reducing production cost, improving modularity, and accelerating product assembly. With our ROV we are able to install and service ocean observation systems, helping collect data on our changing ocean.

2” PVC tubing on top for main buoyancy, ¾” tubing for bottom structure. Smaller than previous year’s frame. Goal is a light and compact ROV.

Company Safety Practices

2. Mission Statement
To improve students’ scientific knowledge, technical skills, and teamwork by designing, constructing, and operating a Remotely Operated Vehicle in competitions and scientific research expeditions.
Community Involvement LBCC ROV is a diverse team of students whose goal is to expand our knowledge of applied science and engineering by building a fully functional ROV for the MATE competition. We enthusiastically share our knowledge with many different audiences, furthering our communications skills as well as fostering the interest of the next generation. We do this through outreach to local schools and youth organizations by running ROV workshops and demonstrations for them. System-based Manufacturing Dividing the production of the ROV into systems enables our subteams to achieve their objectives efficiently. Subteams design and construct a single subsystem, enabling their members to focus on unique skills. Communication for each subteam is routed through a single officer, who facilitates participation by members of other subteams. This encourages a healthy balance between specialization and variety in students’ skills and experience. Research Expeditions LBCC ROV has participated in several research partnerships with other universities. Our students collaborate with faculty at those institutions, and take summer research trips to operate the ROV for the faculty at various locales. We also have a student working on the R/V Atlantis this summer performing tasks similar to the MATE competition missions. Work Experience We help our members get jobs. Companies frequently search for employees with a history of team involvement, problem solving, and project completion. Our members are able to demonstrate these skills with confidence after working on the ROV. In addition we work to connect members with internships, scholarships, and grants to continue their education before joining the workforce.


Control Systems

Increased buoyancy with top cross tubes. Mounting cross tubes added to bottom.


Reduced length and width of the ROV. Top buoyant section too long to connect to bottom, necessitating awkward joints at corners, increasing cost and reducing structural integrity.

3. Company Staff Information
Name Greg Mulder Kyle Neumann Griffin Alberti Daniel Takamori Jonas Cervantes Sephen Gibbel Devon Goode Andrew Herscher Marcus Lopez Jacob Minten Amos Parmenter Brad Parmenter Sam Parmenter Nick Ruedig Emily Smucker Steven Solders Karen St Martin Samuel Stephenson Li Zhang Team Position Faculty Advisor Chief Executive Officer Chief Operating Officer Chief Technical Officer Chief Financial Officer Moral Support Electrical Engineer Arm and Tether Engineer Technical Writer Electrical/Mechanical Tech Safety Officer / Lab Tech Engineering consultant Lab Tech / Engineer Photog / Graphic and Tech Designer Technical Writer Draftsman Connector Design/Molding Laser Physics / Web Developer Technical Writer School Year Major Faculty 2nd Year 2nd Year 2nd Year 2nd Year 2nd Year 2nd Year 2nd year 3rd Year 3nd Year 1st Year 1st Year 1st Year Postbac 2nd Year 2nd Year Postbac 4rd year 4th Year Physics Physics Physics Math Physics Math & Physics Electrical Engineering Career Goal Physics Education BioResource Research Scientific Diver Sub Pilot/Robotics Math Education Mustache Open Source Lab Programmer Misc

User Interface
Open top facilitates access to internal systems. Top buoyancy tubes increased from 2” to 3” PVC pipes. Increased buoyancy by 5.7L of air, even after removal of top cross tubes. Awkward corners removed.

Software Engineering  ROV software: Arduino C  Topside laptop software: Python 2.7  Laptop ROV Controller: Logitech G-UF1 3 USB game controller  Python's ability to rapidly prototype and its access to heavily documented libraries made it our choice to design modular, portable, and readable code  GUI on laptop uses PyGame, PGU (Phil’s PyGame Utilities), and VPython libraries Communications Protocol  Arduino Ethernet Shield Revision 3 provides client-server operations between the Narwhal and the surface  Chosen due to the reliability of TCP/IP over long distances.  Ethernet has distinct advantages over custom wiring in both cost and signal integrity.  TCP/IP has a well documented capacity for packet (signal) redundancy and implementation for specialized use Microcontroller  Arduino Due, 84 Mhz Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU w 66 I/O ports for sensor inputs and motor control  We chose the Arduino platform because of its the community support and openness  The documentation on hardware and software libraries is unmatched among other hobbyoriented microcontrollers, and its openness allows for code reuse and sharing.

Lab Safety  Safety glasses are required when working in the lab or near pressurized air.  Ear plugs are required when power equipment is in use.  Everyone must be accompanied by at least one other person while working in the ROV lab.  Prior to using any powered tool in the lab, a company member must be safety certified to use the tool by a company official.  The last person to leave the lab must check to make sure all tools and electronics are unplugged.  All pressurized air tanks are used and stored horizontally in secured locations.  First Aid Kit is prominently located in lab, and taken with us on every away mission. Testing Safety  All pool tests are conducted under the supervision of a lifeguard and/or rescue diver.  ROV is always powered off before servicing.  We ensure all personnel are at least one meter away from the ROV before connecting power or pressurizing the pneumatic system. Equipment Safety Features  Water sensor in the brain box allows us to shut down the ROV if any leakage occurs.  Thrusters are mounted inboard with shielded propellers to minimize risk of fouling by lines, cables, and fingers.  Stainless steel safety cable in tether allows us to recover the ROV in the event of system failure.  Fuses in the onboard power brick prevent any component on the vehicle from overloading the electrical system.  Main fuse is located before all electronic components, including main power switch.  New connectors are designed so that power is the last contact made, after data and ground.  Laser used in the transmissometer is within safety regulations indicated in the competition handbook.  Maximum pressure in the pneumatic system is 275kPa.

6. Mission Theme

As the world’s largest ecosystem, the oceans are an integral part of all human life. Changes in the ocean have significant impact on coastal ecosystems, climate, and biodiversity. Humans create many stressors on the oceans through activities such as pollution and overfishing, yet at the same time, humans rely heavily on the oceans for things such as food and transportation. As the human activity continues and increases, the ocean will be subject to more stress, and we may begin to see large-scale effects on populations on people. Examples would be fishing employment decreasing, coastal populations subject to flooding, and large scale storms like Hurricane Sandy. It is extremely important to closely monitor what is going on in the ocean. Modern technology enables us to use ocean observing systems to provide constant information about the condition of the ocean. This allows people to make wellinformed decisions about the myriad of issues connected to the oceans, such as climate change, water quality, and environmental protection. The 2013 MATE competition event is divided into four tasks that real-world ROVs perform in installing and servicing ocean observing systems. Examples of these systems are the trawl resistant nodes made by NEPTUNE Canada (right) which we suspect the node in the competition is based on. These networks span large parts of the ocean floor, helping scientists to understand Earth’s oceanic processes. Without ROVs to install and maintain these networks, our understanding of the changing ocean would be drastically reduced.

Aerospace Researcher Student Planning Committee Scientific Consulting Silicon Designer

Mechanical Engineering Aerospace Engineer Electrical Engineering Electrical Engineering Engineering Transfer Engineering Transfer Engineering Transfer Applied Statistics Communications Electrical Engineering N/A Physics Physics Electrical Engineer Electrical Engineer Nuclear Engineer Structural Engineer Mechanical Engineer Science Educator Journalist Electrical Engineer TBD Physics Researcher Physics Researcher OSHA-30 Certification

A Solidworks model of revision 4b of the Narwhal

Goals USB controller, DVR camera screen, and laptop display  Provide visual feedback for debugging and testing  Alert pilot to network errors and motor freezes  Minimal learning curve, accessible and easily modifiable Implementation  4-camera DVR screen provides situational awareness  Laptop screen visualizes arm position, motor direction, and overall thrust vector  USB joypad provides intuitive videogame-like controls for ease of learning  Foot-pedal operated solenoid for pneumatics (simple and inexpensive)

A crane on Alcatel–Lucent's cable-laying ship, the C/S Lodbrog, lifts a trawlresistant frame slated for installation in Middle Valley. This frame holds the ocean observation stations our ROV would service.

7. Company Evaluation
Most Rewarding Part of This Experience

Mission Theme Sources: id=first-undersea-science-station MATE 2013 Explorer Class Competition Missions

The most rewarding part of the experience was learning to work as a team, and the satisfaction gained from collaborating with such dedicated members. Our team tirelessly worked together, putting in long hours, late nights, and weekends, as we strove toward the common goal of making the best ROV possible. Everyone on the team pulled their own weight and was willing to work and learn, constantly challenging each other to do more and do it better. We all learned to work harder, communicate better, and work more effectively as a team. Working together was the most rewarding part of the experience.
Front Back Motor and camera mounted with snap on connectors Laser Transmissometer Tether inside red luggage used for storage

Unpainted clip-on connectors for thruster

Left to right: Andrew Hercher, Griffin Alberti, Sam Stephenson, Kyle Neumann, Greg Mulder, Jonas Cervantes, Daniel Takamori, Michael Tilse Clockwise from red shirt: Kyle Neumann, Jonas Cervantes, Sam Stephenson, Griffin Alberti, Marcus Lopez, Daniel Takamori, Nick Ruedig, Andrew Hercher

What Would Be Done Differently Next Time
Design, Construction, and Testing

Clip-On Connectors Manipulator and Arm
Model 5a of the manipulator, with 360 degree rotation

Camera housed in polycarbonate and aluminum

Goals  Gripper & Arm Assembly: open and close doors, twist handles, remove biofouling, and carry scientific modules  Gripper: versatile tool to grasp a variety of objects, including U-bolts, a metal J-bolt, several kinds of PVC fittings, and ½” PVC  Arm: adjust orientation that cannot be provided by moving Narwhal. Arm adds 2 degrees of freedom for 6 total degrees Implementation
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2 L-shaped metal plates attached to pneumatic piston open and close Two bristle hairbrushes attached to them for grippage Gripper attached to arm by a wrist with unlimited rotation Wrist built by boring through a gear to let the pneumatic piston shaft rotate without getting pneumatic lines tangled by rotation Allows gripper to level secondary node by rotating leveling screws Johnson 2851 bilge motor and custom gearbox rotate the arm Servo motor is used at the arm’s wrist to rotate the gripper

Goals  Inexpensive, simple  Easy to mount and unmount  Leaves buoyant frame intact Implementation  PVC pipes cut in half  Heat gun used to shape  Double layers prevent scratches  Used for thrusters, cameras, arm, etc. Notes  Similar technique used for power brick and brain block  Very secure, motors stay in place under load

Goals  Simple  Reliable  Easy troubleshooting Implementation  5 PC303XS cameras  100mA @12V DC  NTSC 512x492 Notes  Custom aluminum and polycarbonate camera housing, tested up to 80m, designed by team.

Goals  Reliable  Powerful  Modular and replaceable Implementation  5 SeaBotix BT-150s (18n thrust each)  Connected to Critical Velocity/Pololu H-bridges in custom epoxy potting Notes  Surface control: Logitech G-UF1 3 and Python GUI  Onboard control: Arduino Mega 2560

Goal  Measure turbidity of medium (simulated with rotating plastic disc) Implementation  Emitter: 650nm <5mW laser diode  Sensor: phototransistor (10cm away)  Housing: PVC  Tether: Ethernet Notes  Data interpreted topside by Arduino  Displayed on laptop screen

Goals  10m competition, 100m research  Carries data, power, air Implementation  2 8-gauge wires for power  4 Ethernet cables for data  Pressure & exhaust pneumatic lines Notes  Topside power switchbox provides bleed-down resistors, controls voltage, additional safety fuse breaker, on-off control.

Begin testing earlier in the year using last year’s ROV. This year work started in January, but little was done until late M arch when we performed our first pool test, where people saw an operational ROV. After the morale boost provided by this, the pace of work and time people spent in the lab increased. We feel that had we begun pool testing in January, our available time evaluating and building new systems would have been much increased.

Focus on improving a few systems on the ROV each year. This year, as the LBCC team usually does, we attempted to replace numerous systems and build a completely new ROV. As the year went on and we ran low on time, we had to return to previous solutions and systems because we spread our efforts too thin exploring new options. In the future, we would recommend using the previous year’s ROV, designing a few new mission specific systems, and improving one or two of the main systems (frame/propulsion/cameras/brains/power). Successful companies do not redesign each variation of their product from scratch. We should not either; it is neither efficient nor economical.

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Replace brainbox with larger version which integrates H-bridges. Alternately, pot brain and H-bridges into one epoxy brick. Replace NTSC Cameras with HD IP Cameras (powered over IP). Develop many-jointed manipulator controlled by repositioning a scale model on the surface (inspired by remote handling devices).

8. Acknowledgements
Individuals Organizations Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Oregon Underwater Volcanic Exploration Team (OUVET) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Hatfield Marine Science Center Linn-Benton Community College Departments and Student Organizations Physical Sciences Computer Sciences Welding Engineering English Speech Student Life and Leadership Society of Physics Students Media and Computer Sciences Health and Human Performance Student Activity and Program Committee

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LBCC Custom Data Connectors (CDCs)
Previously, the team used commercially available waterproof plugs for electrical connections between various components of the ROV. The commercially available connectors have proven inadequate for multiple reasons. First, the cost Connected Disconnected of commercial connectors has consumed large portions of past budgets. Furthermore, they suffer debilitating wear and corrosion after repeated use. In response to these shortcomings, our team’s priority this year was developing our own custom plugs. Our creation, the CDC -1 (patent pending), represents a major innovation in underwater electrical design. We focused on making the plugs small, durable, and waterproof to 100m. The design needed to provide adequate interfacing between the overmolding and the plugs to ensure maximum protection from water creepage. Also, our design is easier and faster to connect and disconnect than current commercial models. The connector design uses off-the-shelf 4-contact stereo plugs, which are inexpensive and allow a compact profile since the 4 contact pads are aligned along the axis of the cable. A single axis for the 4 contact pads also avoids a tolerance stack across multiple center lines especially if there were individual seals for each contact. The ability to procure off-the-shelf electrical connectors was key. We use a cylindrical shape to provide uniform sealing. The specific model of connector chosen has a cylindrical shaft along the entire length of sealing surface which provides a solid and consistent surface to support the seals. In addition, the 4-contact audio connector is designed to endure at least 5000 connect/disconnect cycles. If we were to mass produce these connectors, we project that we would be able to sell them profitably for $40/pair, 50% less than comparable commercial models.

Dan Lara, STEM Constorium Greg Mulder, Physical Science Karelia Stetz-Waters, English Consortium Parker Swanson, Computer Science Consortium Special thanks to Michael Tilse Companies Burcham’s Metal for their generous discount on material Osborne Aquatic Center for their generous donation of pool testing time SeaBotix for their generous discount on motors for their generous discounts on cameras Lindenwood Apartments for their generous donation of pool testing time Rotary Motions Hobbies for their generous discount on motors LBCC Foundation for their generous donation of funds
3D rendered design document for connectors

Goals  Operation in high pressure (up to 8 atm) and corrosive environment Implementation  Used nonferrous material in construction when possible (mostly PVC) to protect against corrosion  Insulated electronics with by casting them in clear non-shrinking epoxy polymer.  Minimized pressurized space.

LBCC Security Department Drafting and Engineering Graphics

A special thank you goes to our families and friends, for their support and encouragement.

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