We have designed a unique ROV to compete in the MATE ROV Competition. Through the various missions, will be "assisting" the Port of Long Beach with various tasks. Using specialized tools, our ROV, Constantia, will help the Port with health, entertainment, and environmental problems. The Port of Long Beach has sent out a Request For Proposals (RFPs) in the hopes of finding an ROV that can help them solve the various problems. The four issues the RFPs want to address are: assisting with the construction of a hyperloop-a futuristic transportation system, providing maintenance on a water jet fountain, protecting the aquatic environment, and identifying possibly hazardous cargo containers that have fallen off of ships. The RFPs also have some basic and complicated specifications for Constantia to meet, including robustness, maneuverability, portability as well as being compact. We have designed an ROV that can fulfill all of the categories in the RFPs and much more.
Mounted inside of a case for extra protection, our control system is able to pass instructions to Constantia on what it should do while underwater. Allowing extra control over movement, the two joysticks mounted on Plexiglas© inside the control box are easy to use while operating the ROV. The joysticks also give a range of a little power to a lot of power, depending on how far you move the joystick in any direction. Our control box is very practical in controlling Constantia.
Our camera system is very reliable, clear, and protected. Having a pre-waterproofed camera means that it will not allow water to seep into and ruin the camera system. The camera is also in color, allowing more clarity in driving Constantia underwater while completing tasks. A small monitor is mounted inside of the control box and is able to display what the camera is viewing. Placed inside the bottom of the control box, a camera filter helps keep the camera and monitor from frying when spikes in electricity arise from throttling the joysticks back and forth.
To allow communication between the control box and the Constantia’s motors, we added a fourteen-meter-long tether made up of various cords that connected to our ROV. Buoyant floatation keeps the tether floating neutrally, and the bright, protective sheath for the ethernet also allows for the tether manager to keep track of the position of the tether at all times. We took the safety measures of waterproofing all of the motor connections to the tether and adding a wiring harnesses. Our wiring harnesses are placed on the control box as well as the ROV, and they hold all of the wires in place, protecting the wires from being accidentally torn out of connections.
Enabling bilge pump motors gives us power and durability, which is highly needed with all the heavy and rough construction of lowering and surfacing heavy objects in the Port of Long Beach. To accommodate the need of thrust, we have two vertical motors, which can also make Constantia crab left and right. Encased in a shroud for safety, our other two horizontal motors are able to make the ROV move forward, backward, and turn. This variety of movement causes Constantia to be very maneuverable, which is useful for completing difficult tasks.
Our ROV’s frame was built in a distinctive octagon shape to improve the reliability of the ROV. For more durability, we constructed the frame out of robust furniture grade PVC. Despite having a large or unusual payload, such as with collecting soil samples and capping dangerous sediment, Constantia can remain compact and maneuverable. The frame is made up of characteristic colors to help the tether manager see where the ROV is in the pool and adds aesthetics to the overall look of Constantia.
We use a combination of the effective high-density foam and the practical piping foam to create neutral buoyancy for Constantia. Being neutrally buoyant is important on an ROV because you don’t want your ROV to move around while you are trying to maintain complete control over the ROV. The high-density foam is often on professional ROVs because it won’t compress at deep depths and is very buoyant. Piping foam is used to protect outdoor pipes from freezing in the winter, and adding it onto Constantia allows us to fine-tune the buoyancy of the ROV since it is easier to handle compared to the high-density foam.
We have developed a few notable tools to complete the missions needed. Constructed out of modifiable LEGOs, our first and foremost tool is a claw powered by hydraulics. The hydraulics system is powered by pressurized water that is controlled by a hand pump. Being our primary tool, it will complete most of the tasks presented in the RFPs, including the environmental cleanup, hyperloop construction, and maintenance on the water jet fountain. Being that a simple hook that can complete many of the tasks on its own, we have mounted three hooks onto the ROV to give it more options on handling items during the risk mitigation, as well as the other tasks. Our ROV also has an RFID sensor constructed from a magnet to help identify the fallen containers during the risk mitigation task.