Purdue University’s IEEE branch participated in this year’s Marine Advanced Technology Education Center Competition, taking second place for the Hybris ROV seen above. The competition included several¬†compulsory functions, including the ability to cap an underwater oil well, collect biological samples, and take water samples at depth.

What they came up with is a quick and agile watercraft that easily overcomes a lot of the hardware hangups that typically plague ROV builds. There are eight thrusters, four for vertical motion and the other four take care of horizontal movement. The gripper mechanism can be clearly seen on the front of the craft, with two cylindrical containers housing the electrical components.

Don’t miss out on the project definition page. Each challenge is discusses in detail, along with the team’s solution. We were impressed by the amount of information they have posted, including overview of each electrical component as well as design files and source code. If you want to see how the first run of the competition went, click through the break to find embedded video.


14 thoughts on “Purdue IEEE ROV

  1. Awesome setup. Love the simple design. What is the maximum depth rating? The foam on the tether would only work to a certain depth before density overcame buoyancy, so I’m curious.

    $32,000 in software costs ..? Wonder how that breaks out.

    $14,000 in material. Wow.

  2. Thanks all for the comments! I’m on the team that made Hybris.

    Max depth is limited by either our custom cameras or electronics tube at about 100 feet. We don’t plan on testing it past 40 though. However, if we needed to go farther, it wouldn’t be hard, but we just didn’t need to design for it. And the foam is a high quality syntactic foam from professional ROVs so we aren’t too worried about it.

    $32,000 is the cost of 12 SolidWorks licenses, a CAMworks license, and a CNC mill control software license from MACH3. Luckily, all of these were sponsored so we only spent about $300 on them.

    And yea, a lot of Aluminum chips ended up in the recycling bin. Only about 5% of the original material ended up on the vehicle due to how much was cut away.

  3. Nice seeing a bunch of other Purdue engineers commenting here.

    And yeah, the foam in the tether will begin to have issues with buoyancy before the main buoyancy foam has any issues, but in the depth range that we were operating at it works great. Plus it gets rid of the bulky chunks of foam that would otherwise need to be zip tied to the outside of the tether.

  4. Once again, this article lacks a source. Did you find it posted over on DangerousPrototypes? Did a reader tip you to it? Or are you going to have us believe that, out of the blue, you successfully stumbled upon a small, very recently created website?

    Please add a source, thanks.

  5. Nice job! Vehicle looks a little touchy in pitch and roll… I’m guessing that there is no active stabilization (for example, based on a 3-axis compass). Might be a cool project to add some basic PID controls to all those degrees of freedom, and experiment with ways to mix them and make the vehicle and operator more “confident” in its movements. Always a thorny problem when different PIDs share the same thrusters though…

    I’m speaking here as an AUV engineer. I used to work on a vehicle that could hover, and our “ROV mode” was greatly improved by allowing the vehicle to rely on its sensors in addition to operator input when it came to driving itself around.

  6. Purdue was beat by the Jesuit HS Robotics Team by 3 points in the competition. I know this because I’m friends with the JHS RT coach and his son. I got to see their robot in action in their backyard pool in Sacramento about a month before the competition. I’m going to forward this to them. And can ask if they can submit something to HAD if anyone is interested. Is anyone interested?

  7. @Bob I believe they were tipped by one of our team members

    @Ian We did consider auto stabilization. Actually, we have all the required hardware to do it. We decided against the feature in the end since the mission goes by so quickly that it seemed to be more of a negative then a benefit. It’s only pitchy before the oil cap is deployed. If you see the last couple minutes of the mission run (collecting biological specimens) it’s a much better representation of Hybris’ handling, which is incredible. I’ve piloted about 6 rovs and this is by far the fastest, easiest, and most fun.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.