Team Blackfinn Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

The BlackFinn includes an improved AUV platform and robust and reliable obstacle navigation.

The journal below describes the fully autonomous underwater vehicle BlackFinn developed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to compete in the 2012 RoboSub Competition hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).They utilized our GEDC-6 to navigate their application.Team BlackFinn has taken the experiences of previous AUVSI competition teams at Embry-Riddle (including IARC, IGVC, RoboBoat, and SUAS), along with past RoboSub competitions, and applied the knowledge gained to the new AUV system designed. The resulting design to compete in the 2012 RoboSub “Ides of TRANSDEC” challenge includes an improved AUV platform, robust and reliable obstacle navigation, and effective mechanisms for task completion.


At around 3am, our vehicle arrived, disassembled, to our hotel, for the AUVSI RoboSub Competition. By 8am, we were in the water driving around. We spent the day testing navigation algorithms, which went inordinately well. By the end of the work day, we were able to qualify our vehicle for competition. The qualification involves a proof of water-worthiness, and some very basic navigation.


This was the last testing day before the semi finals and we used it to grab all of the vision information needed for tuning. After hours in the little pools tuning we then set off to test in the hotel pool and tuned and calibrated all the sensors. We calibrated the Sparton compass spinning the vehicle in a circle and holding it in different orientations. At one point we got the mag calibration down to 13.


This was our second semi final round after our run the day before having our pressure sensor fail, leaving us unable to run. Making sure that it was secure and all systems were checked we were able to navigate through the gate and align with the path but never graze any buoys.


During our run at 7 am to qualify for the wildcard in the finals we barely missed the buoy we needed to hit  to advance and we are about to attend the dinner to see where we placed overall.
During the second day of semi-finals, we did not get our vision system up and running to the extent needed. Consequently, we were unable to complete enough competition elements to go to the final round.  A rough estimate would put us at middle of the pack out of the ~35 teams there.

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