Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

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.

[thanks Vesaines]

11 thoughts on “Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

  1. Sweet! I actually used to be on a AUV team that attended this same competition. Of course our team was the elite and dominating team SubjuGator (UF), the first team to win the competition three years in a row (2005-2007)… Our bot has used full x86 computers for several years now. We also run Windows! Robot Studio and Windows drivers kick major ass compared to wasting time with the Free/OSS stuff that makes you jump through never ending hoops…

    Visit for details on a three time world champion design instead of reading up on how to make a leaking torpedo! I kid! I kid!

  2. This reminds me of the torpedoes in the movies “Crimson Tide” and “The Hunt for Red October”.

    With a few design changes, this can be turned into a missile. We can build our own WMD’s now! Just like the pros!

    DOD? CIA? NSA? Are you reading this?

    Amazing times we live in. Amazing times.

  3. The build quality is awesome, in my opinion they’d deserve a prize just for that, but I’d change both the operating system and the mainboard: Ubuntu server isn’t the best thing for a nearly embedded platform, and you can get enough power to process camera data in a board that consumes less than 1/4 of a 1GHz pico-ITX.
    Perhaps, being sponsored by Schlumberger, they chose the quickest way to solve the problem without being concerned about expenses.

  4. Why doesnt my “estimated gas milage” make sense? I will fill up my tank on my 2009 Ford Edge and it says 392 miles to empty but by the time it goes empty I only got 290 miles or so… Where is the other estimated 100 miles it’s so annoying!

  5. unless you changed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle UAV into Underwater Assault Vehicle.. fantastic example of UAV construction.
    i wouldnt mind fitting an RC helicopter or gas powered RC plane with a little .22 turret and cam that keeps the accuracy.. accurate.
    but for underwater.. specially designed crossbowtorpedos. they dont have to explode, just fly straight through water, for close range underwater bloodshed, which attracts sharks to the target.
    better get those bulletproof scubasuits

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