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Unique UUV Design for College Capstone

In Feb 2021, my team and I were given the objective of “Design & prototype a small underwater vehicle with limited autonomous navigation capability, to act as a sensor platform for scientific, educational, or maintenance purposes”.

This was a final test of our system in Dec 2021. We are graduating and passing this project on, but thought it was worth seeing what the community thought. Our test video is a summation of eight months of design, analysis, prototyping, fabrication, and integration.

Feel free to ask any questions on the analysis, CAD design and schematics, or whatever you would like. Input is also encouraged!


Hi @krdavis2, welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

Your video provides a nice display of your vehicle operating in a pool, using QGroundControl and seemingly with multiple video streams, which is awesome! :smiley:

Is there somewhere we can access a more detailed write-up of the various parts you used, custom parts you designed, and/or the design process you followed? And if that’s not already available, would you be interested in providing some of that information here?

It’s really cool to see the progress you and your team made in the 8 months you had, and I imagine the community here would be extra interested in any details you can provide on how you overcame challenges that you faced, what kind of performance specifications you were aiming for vs what you achieved, and any other details you’re keen to share :slight_smile:

By the way, I’ve edited your post so that the video is embedded (see the How to Use the Blue Robotics Forums post), and removed a few tags that didn’t seem particularly relevant.


Thank you for the video embedding! Still a little new here.

Yes, there is somewhere, we have a website, and this is where we have been uploading our design process, requirements, constraints, and analysis. Since we completed this test yesterday the website is just a bit out of date but should be fully updated in about a week. We don’t have any of our Solidworks parts on our website, but if there is interest, I could find a way to put them on.

There were many challenges, but the main one was our first leak test. A little backstory, neither of us knew much about underwater vehicles before this project. And if we did, we would have immediately bought a vacuum kit. When we did our first leak test (no electronics inside) water poured in. It turns out that PVC does not have good concentricity. Our fix was to add an epoxy filler and sand down using blocks we 3D printed to match the correct radius. After this, it worked extremely well, and only a super small puddle formed after 1 hour (still room for improvement).

Another mention is blue robotics. The software QGroundControl and their flanges were perfect!! Wouldn’t of been possible without them. In total, we spent around $700 total on this project.

I hope this answers your questions!

1 Like

Cool to see - thanks for sharing! :smiley:

Yep, underwater certainly has its share of challenges. Epoxy is a pretty standard method for waterproofing, especially scenarios where it’s not important to be able to disassemble a given connection/seal.

Great to hear! :slight_smile: