ROV Maelstrom

Contact: Sanay Shah


Purdue IEEE ROV Competes in MATE 2016

Purdue IEEE ROV is an eight-year-old team of diverse Purdue students that compete in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) International Competition. The team has designed ROV Maelstrom, a top-notch ROV that is expected to produce top results.

The competition challenges students to create a vehicle that can complete underwater missions. ROVs are used in the world to conduct scientific missions, assist in oil extraction, retrieve items of interest, and more. This year’s competition is being held at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas from June 23-25.

MATE has created a mission profile based off of real life ROV needs. The mission, From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa, consists of both simulated underwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico and under the ice of Jupiter’s Moon, Europa. This mission will test ROV Maelstrom and the team’s ability to determine the qualitative attributes of the environment and objects of interest, survey underwater terrain, retrieve mission-critical items, conduct servicing of an underwater machine, and collect samples to be analyzed.

Proven Robotics, the chosen company name of Purdue IEEE ROV team, has taken efficiency into consideration to design a specialized claw, a sonar positioning system, an ergonomic pilot-interface system, an open-loop hydraulics system, and more. Through careful planning and consecutive design meetings, the team has designed a working ROV that will execute each mission safely and effectively. 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 populating the printed circuit boards (PCBs). Team veterans have passed on their experiences to the newer members throughout the year, fostering growth and a smoother process towards competition day. ROV Maelstrom is a product of the team’s hard work and dedication.

None of this could have been possible without the support of our sponsors. 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 the Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC) for their support that makes IEEE ROV an international competitor.

Post Competition Update

The Purdue University IEEE ROV team competed this weekend at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center International ROV Competition in Houston, Texas at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab. The mission, From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa, consisted of both simulated underwater activities in the Gulf of Mexico and under the ice of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. While this themed proved to be exceptionally tough, our team is pleased to have been invited to participate amongst many domestic and international teams.

Our vehicle, ROV Maelstrom, was designed and built as the successor to the team’s legacy of technological advancement. Various custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) were designed and printed, such as a large power distribution board to handle up to 2,400W of power conversion. An extremely light aluminum frame was successfully built, aided by finite element analysis (FEA) in SolidWorks and the switch to vertical plates for more numerous payload tool attachment points. Our software team again wrote custom embedded electronics code and also introduced the ability to handle the HD digital cameras onboard the ROV. While not all designs worked as planned, each challenge resulted in knowledge for next year. Specifically, we hope to continue development on our open-loop hydraulics system and our GPS-like underwater sonar system.

While we did not finish in the top three places this year (our final position will be released by MATE at a later date), the team did not leave empty handed. Kyle Rakos was honored with the Flying Fish Award for his effective leadership of our largest ever 42-person team. He was selected out of approximately 400 competing members. While an individual award, it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all team members.

This has been the eighth 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 eight years. We would like to give a special thanks to our graduating foreign exchange student Jakob Andrén, team mentors Michael Hayashi, Nick Molo, and Seth Baklor, and all of our sponsors. The team is prepared for a bright future with nearly all members returning.

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. We would also love to answer any questions.

We invite you to view the Purdue IEEE ROV website and Purdue IEEE ROV Team Facebook page as well as the ROV season pictures, ROV technical report, ROV spec sheet, and ROV poster.

Abstract and Awards

The Purdue IEEE ROV Team received 13th place in the 2016 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Center International ROV Competition in Houston, Texas. The team took an unprecedentally large group of eighteen members to the competition, but the record team size of forty-two members means that many members had to cheer from home. Team Captain Kyle Rakos received the Flying Fish Award for his prowess managing a team that expansive.

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

Proven Robotics worked to design ROV Maelstrom, the first Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) capable of conducting reconnaissance, recovery, and maintenance under extreme oceanic environments on Earth and in outer space. Maelstrom is capable of delving into the depths of Europa and to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. This unrivaled versatility will push human exploration onwards.

Proven Robotics has delivered a multipurpose ROV that meets mission requirements to complete the Outer Space and Inner Space simulations at MATE’s 2016 international ROV competition. ROV Maelstrom’s design utilizes open-loop hydraulics and optimizes weight and volume, allowing for more electronics and tools. The company also features a tri-camera system and a sonar positioning system on ROV Maelstrom. In order to facilitate rapid and reliable development, the company is split into Mechanical, Software, Electrical, and Administrative departments, which are responsible for their respective ROV components. The departments were in constant communication throughout production in order to ensure continued progress and success.

ROV Maelstrom satisfies the mission stipulations and is equipped to accomplish these MATE mission tasks: seafloor exploration and discovery, maintenance and recovery of items of interest, and determination of sample origin. It is the product of methodical planning and iterative design. ROV Maelstrom’s ability has been tested in mock simulations and Proven Robotics is proud to exhibit its performance.