ROV Cerulean

ROV X7 Progress Update

It has been quite a while since the ROV team has provided an online progress update. Fortunately, a large reason for this overlook, is the team has been focused on working to train new members, to build a prototype vehicle, and to design a new vehicle, ROV X7.

The beginning of last semester saw the largest influx of new members in ROV history. Initial meetings, led by new captain Kyle Rakos along with new team leads Josh Berg, Matt Molo, and Evan Widloski, saw sizes of over 35 potential members. As members committed, there was still a large amount of people, primarily freshmen, who began the learning process of how to build an ROV.

In order to train new members, along with providing a practice vehicle for use before the competition, the team began work on a prototype ROV. This prototype used a modular frame to allow attachment of new tools in order to facilitate testing before the final vehicle is assembled. Additionally, it was designed to utilize old electronics combined with new electronics for testing purposes. This vehicle has been an immeasurable help in training new and old members alike. The vehicle should see its first full pool test within the following weeks.

In the midst of the prototype development the mission rules were released. This year the mission will take place in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada from June 25-27, 2015. There will be three separate tasks at various locations. The various tasks provide a much greater level of difficulty, something the team feels prepared for accomplishing.

Therefore, in parallel with the development of the prototype vehicle, design work has been done on ROV X7. Mechanical design is nearing completion and large parts have already been sent out for machining. Final electronic design work has already commenced and software is being continuously refined.

The ROV team is looking forward to the regional competition near the end of the semester and is even more excited to go to Canada over the summer. We would like to thank our sponsors for all of their support. Additionally, we would like to thank all of those who have spent time providing technical and administrative knowledge to the team. With your help, the ROV Team is planning for the most advanced and capable vehicle yet!

Contact: Kyle Rakos


Aiming for First Place Internationally with Brand New Vehicle

The Purdue IEEE ROV Team is a seven-year-old team of engineers and non-engineers that competes in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) International Competition. The team plans for a top place finish this year with an ROV combining their latest innovations, ROV Cerulean.

The MATE competition pits students against each other to see who can complete the assigned missions most efficiently using elegantly designed and cost-effective underwater robots. The mission changes every year and has included submarine rescue missions, shipwreck navigation, and underwater volcano exploration. This year's mission from the MATE Center takes place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The focus is on arctic science and oil pipeline maintenance. The tasks revolve around servicing old equipment, ensuring existing equipment remains safe and functional, and observing various marine organisms.

International Big BlueBotix (IBBB), the name of the Purdue team this year, has designed an ROV that is capable of completing the mission in the shortest amount of time. With more funding and growing knowledge of manufacturing techniques, the team was able to machine the custom-designed ROV components to the high standards the competition demands. Key features this year include a lightweight, aluminum frame and custom waterproof polycarbonate tube for on-board electronics. With the power distribution and vehicle control systems designed and mounted by the students, ROV Cerulean represents a logical successor to the team's legacy of power, sophistication, and performance. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that the team designed and constructed the vehicle from the ground up and in house, from modeling the frame with CAD tools to writing the software to designing and laying out the printed circuit boards (PCBs).

The Purdue IEEE ROV Team would like to give special thanks to the Purdue Office of the Provost, the Purdue Engineering Student Council (PESC), and SolidWorks Corporation for their support that makes our team competitive internationally. With a team comprised largely of freshmen and sophomores, the team sees this year as a chance to show the competition what they are capable of doing.

Contact: Kyle Rakos

Purdue IEEE ROV Team 2015 Competition Conclusion

The Purdue University IEEE ROV team competed this weekend at the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Center International ROV Competition in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada. The mission theme this year was offshore oil platform maintenance and repairs along with artic science. While the three unique missions proved to be especially challenging, the Purdue IEEE ROV team is pleased to have been invited to participate amongst many domestic and international teams. Considering this was the first competition for 90% of our team, we performed well and are excited to utilize all that we learned next year!

Our vehicle, ROV Cerulean is the successor to the team’s legacy of technological advancement. The onboard electrical system was custom designed and composed of no less than seven unique boards. The mechanical construction of ROV Cerulean reflects a robust design philosophy; it is one of the lightest vehicles in the team’s history while maintaining structural integrity with the custom made aluminum frame. Additionally, the software was written from the ground up using C++ with the Qt library.

This has been the seventh year for the Purdue IEEE ROV Team, a committee of the Purdue IEEE Student Branch. Thank you to all of those who have supported us throughout the last seven years, especially those who were able to help us this year. The team is prepared for a bright future with nearly all veterans returning along with an expected influx of new members this coming school year.

We would love to share with you as much of our experience as possible. Please forward to as many people as you would like and view the following files below and the attached pictures. Let me know if you have any questions!

We invite you to view the ROV technical report, ROV poster, and various ROV and team pictures.

Abstract and Awards

The Purdue IEEE ROV Team received 15th place in the 2015 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Center International ROV Competition in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The team was thrilled to be able to take nine members to the competition, but the growth of the team meant that many dedicated team members were unable to join the team.

For more information about the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center (MATE) Competition, please view their website here.

In the ever-advancing industrial world, mankind has been on a search for available crude oil. Recently, oil companies have begun drilling offshore in polar waters where vast oil fields have been found. This environment has left them in need of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that can collect scientific data on the surrounding area of a potential drill site, inspect and repair subsea pipelines, and even help establish new offshore oilfields.

International Big BlueBotix (IBBB) has designed and constructed ROV Cerulean to meet and exceed these needs. With the intention of keeping the ROV lightweight, stable, and reliable, ROV Cerulean has an aluminum framework with detachable mission-specific tools, eight thrusters, allowing for six degrees of freedom, and a specialized waterproof tube to house all electronic components enabling quick access for serviceability and troubleshooting.

All electronic hardware responsible for power management, vehicle movement, and sensor data collection have been designed and fabricated from the ground up. Coupled with the on-board BattleStation software designed and developed by IBBB, ROV Cerulean is well equipped to handle all tasks it is presented with.

A full account of the features and design rationale of ROV Cerulean may be viewed in the technical report. Pictures from this season may be viewed to tell the better understand the story of the design, manufacturing, construction, and testing of this vehicle.

The mid-year update may be found in the first article on this page, the press release from before the competition may be found two articles above, and the press release after the results were announced may be found immediately above.

To see ROV Cerulean perform the qualification tasks for this mission, please watch this YouTube video.