URI RAMboat 2011 design - AUVSI ASV competition

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



URI's student ASV (RAMboat2011- Figure 1), based on a Hobie Float Cat 60, is a stable platform first designed in 2010 and has been much improved upon for the 2011 ASV competition. A watertight electronics box is mounted forward of the payload space, with a camera, GPS, and water cannon mounted on the forward scaffolding. An extendable arm is mounted forward along the side for tennis ball retrieval. RAMboat electronics were adapted from URI's student AUV, with a separate higher power circuit newly designed for the ASV motor power. The motor power this year is provided with 4 Lithium-Poly batteries in parallel to save weight from the Lead Acid battery used in 2010. The electronics subsystems include a FitPC running C++ code on a Ubuntu Linux OS for image processing, laser ranging and thermal sensing, a custom Netburner 5282 embedded microcontroller mission computer, a one watt wireless hub for communication and programming, and two custom power management boards. The power board combines two system batteries and produces supply voltages, monitors consumption, optically isolates computers, and allows radio control takeover of motors. A second board was designed and built to combine the 4 new Lithium-Poly batteries used for motor power. RAMboat power consists of four 14.8 volt 10Ahr batteries for motor power and two 14.8V 6.4Ahr system batteries. A dual channel motor controller sits beside the power board to provide power to the dual Sevylor, 18lb thrust trolling motors. The mission computer runs a linked list table of mission legs which include speed, heading, GPS waypoints, and actions requests. Besides water cannon fire and tennis ball grabbing, the primary leg based requests are for vision guidance from the Fit PC, including camera pan/tilt angles. The vision analysis preformed on FitPC can be used to provide leg modifiers which control vessel guidance as well as tennis ball retrieval, thermal sensing, and cannon fire.

Publication Title

AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America Conference 2011



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