Slaving our Winter break away for our awesome ROV was tough, so we decided it is time to take a break and get some much deserved R&R at Long’s Secret Beach. Packed with drinks and s’mores, we set off after sunset. It rained earlier the day, but hiking through wet rocks over the cliffside proved no match against Epoxsea’s teamwork and coordination. Although we did lose some drinks, we arrived at the beach relatively unscathed. A campfire was soon set up and the rest of the night blurred out to the sounds of crashing waves, drinks, s’mores, music, and laughter.
It as been exactly two month since we launched our website. We would like extend a warm thank you to all our supporters from around the world. Going way beyond our expectation, we have so far had visitors from over 40 countries.
Over here in Hong Kong the semester has started and hence we are all very busy with not only robotics but also our academics. Nonetheless we have made some substantial progress on our robot. Seeing our robot move in the water for the first time was one of the highlights since we started.
Dealing with fiberglass could be dangerous to our health. Some people argue that fiberglass is similar to asbestos which might cause lung cancer. Although there are several arguments regarding that assumption, it seems logical that fiberglass has health hazards when being inhaled since fiberglass is extremely small and sharp. The diameter of a fiberglass strand can be as small as 0.01 micrometers, compared to 171 micrometers for human hair. We do not want to risk our health, therefore Personal Safety Equipment (PSE) must be worn when dealing with fiberglass. We always ensure that we are wearing a mask before working with fiberglass. Gloves are also advised since fiberglass could be itchy when handling with bare hands. Fiberglass could also stuck to your skin, subsequently using a thick pair of gloves when you are handling those fiberglass is always helpful.
Getting ready for the competition? Well, today Epoxsea went shopping! Not for the members, but for this year’s soon to be awesome ROV. Returning members showed the new members around Yau Ma Tei, Sham Shui Po and Wan Chai, districts in Hong Kong, to buy some tools and supplies needed to assemble the ROV. It was a great opportunity to bond together as a team especially across the different areas of specialty- mechanical, hardware and software. The mechanical team would explain how to use this tool and that tool, and hardware team talked about this and that component, while the software team would only imagine how to break these by simply running a faulty program. It was a tiring, but certainly fulfilling and enjoyable day. We believe days like this is what brings the team together. We get to know each other more, and thus working together becomes not only more efficient, but more importantly, more fun and enjoyable. After the shopping spree we all met and enjoyed dinner together.
“Nothing lasts forever.” I guess you have heard this quote before. Today, we had to disassemble the Octopus and recycle its components, which we can re-use for this years ROV. We all felt sad to deconstruct our own masterpiece, which we crafted for days and nights. The Octopus, our 2014 MATE Competition ROV, is constructed primarily from aluminum, acrylic and PVC. Several parts, which are made from these materials, including the electronics tube and buoyancy tubes, were dismantled. Since trashing the ROV would be such a wasteful act, we preserved most of the parts that still work, like the thrusters. Moreover, we also believe that these items might be very useful resources in the future.
Epoxsea had a very interesting call with Jesuit Robotics team from Sacramento, CA. Biggest struggle? All fitting into the screen. Coolest thing? Overcoming language, age and timezones to talk about what brings us all together: ROVs! Exchanging advice and information about the competition, cracking nerdy jokes… it was a very fun and informative morning/evening!