These Autonomous Underwater Vehicles are all competing in the 12th annual AUVSI competition. They have to complete an underwater obstacle course that involves some tight maneuvering, retrieval of a briefcase, dropping bombs, and firing torpedoes. We’ve seen several UAVs before, but we haven’t ever seen them weaponized and in action. Yeah, those weapons don’t look lethal, but isn’t that just a matter of ammunition?
For those that have them, the ATC2K action camera is a decent little piece of equipment. It is waterproof and can save video for roughly 30 minutes on a flash card. The viewing angle of the lens leaves something to be desired though. This has been remedied in newer models. [raalst] shows us how to modify the ATC2K to install a new, wider angle lens, while retaining the waterproof seal. He also takes us through a necessary mod to ensure clear video under water since the new lens was not initially intended for it. Just in case you are curious, he’s using his for hobby radio controlled submarine dives.
[Daniel] sent us over to the blog for the Naval Academy’s Autonomous underwater vehicle entry for the AUVSI competition. You can follow along as they design, build, and test this years entry. It really looks like it would be fun to be the guy who gets to swim with them, like in the latest post in their blog. Their entry, named “Awkward turtle” can be seen above in orange, pictured with their 5th place winning previous entry.
The Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, built for the SAUC-E Challenge, is a fantastic example of UAV construction. The competition is to build a UAV that can complete an underwater assault course. This baby has a full computer inside it, based off of the worlds smallest full featured x86 motherboard, the Pico-Itx. It has a 1GHz EPIA PX 1000 Board, 1 GB of RAM, Wireless Network capabilities and runs Ubuntu server 8.04.
The CUAV suffered from leaks which ultimately cost it the competition, but the information on the build is fantastic. They have detailed pages upon pages of information about the Mechanical, Electronic, and Software aspects of the design. They even went back in and added notes from what they learned during the competition. The project is also outlined in much shorter form on the mini-itx website.