Classified: Top Secret
ROV2016 | Orca
The Orca was designed and built by the 2016 HKUST ROV team as a response to the request for proposal by MATE, Oceaneering International and NASA to explore inner and outer space. The Orca was capable of investigating Europa’s aquatic environment (tested up to a depth of 12 meters), collecting coral and oil samples, identifying and retrieving CubeSats, and decommissioning an oil wellhead. Being Epoxsea Inc.’s smallest and most lightweight ROV, the Orca eliminated all usage of E-tubes by waterproofing all electronics and pneumatic systems with epoxy. Apart from the reduction in weight, this paved way for more convenient repairs; instead of having to open an E-tube and removing all electronic components to locate the problem, malfunctioning parts could easily be pinpointed and remedied.
ROV2015 | Stingray
The Stingray was designed and built by the 2015 HKUST ROV team to conduct arctic based underwater exploration, including conducting science, inspecting oil pipelines, and maintaining underwater oilfields. The Stingray represents a the culmination of large amounts of research at Epoxsea Inc., as the Stingray features all new features for maximum performance, including utilizing a modular design, allowing for different manipulators to be installed as needed. In addition, the control systems were updated to be modular as well, to allow for easier development and better performance, as mission specific modules could be enabled and disabled as needed. Also, new buoyancy techniques were implemented to increase performance in unstable environments.
ROV2014 | Octopus
The Octopus was designed and built by the 2014 HKUST ROV team to fulfill the MATE request to investigate shipwrecks, sinkholes, and conduct biological surveys. Rotatable thrusters enable the Octopus to have more upward thrust and with the addition of a lift bag, a 7kg anchor can be retrieved easily. The quadrant can be extended to provide a fixed area for estimating the number of mussels present on the Shipwreck. A multi-purpose manipulator, constructed from aluminum, is installed on the front of the Octopus in order to make it more durable. Due to the uneven sea floor, the Octopus had a shore controlled tilting buoyancy system, enabling the shore crew to change the buoyancy according to their needs.
ROV2013 | Whale
The Whale was a very large underwater robot constructed by the 2013 HKUST ROV team to perform underwater cable installation and maintenance. The heavy weight of Whale enabled it to stably retrieve and replace an Acoustic Depth Current Profiler in the middle of a water column while dampening the disturbance from the water current. Based on the arm design from 2012, the Whale was equipped with 3 DOF arms, which are controlled by pneumatics, which not only make it more durable, but also give the Whale a stronger grip on objects. This year, a lot of the mission tasks require connector installation and removal, therefore the arms have capabilities to rotate, extend, and adjust the height, to ensure that they are able to pick up small connectors all over the sea floor. There are also four rotary legs on the bottom side of the Whale to adjust the height of primary node which needed to be installed on the designated area.
ROV2012 | Poseidon
Humanoid ROV’s were one of the biggest challenges for the 2012 HKUST ROV team. This year, Poseidon was built to investigate and analyze World War II era shipwrecks. Poseidon has 6 DOF arms, which are controlled by a telemetric suit worn by the pilot. The telemetric suit enabled Poseidon to mimic the pilots gestures in order to complete mission tasks with high precision. Besides providing the pilot with 3D depth vision, stereo cameras on the Poseidon also provide distance measurements to easily calculate the dimensions of the shipwreck. Multipurpose hands on the robot are equipped with a metal detector to identify ship debris that scattered is scattered on a defined area. In addition, the 6 DOF hands are also equipped with tools to extract and collect oil samples from the shipwreck.
ROV2011 | Gear
Gear was the first ROV built by the 2011 HKUST ROV team. Gear was specialized for maximum efficiency when maneuvering on the bottom of NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab. The frame of the Gear was made primarily of clear acrylic and PVC pipes. The Gear received the Design Elegance award in the 2011 MATE ROV Competition. Gear’s manipulators and grippers have a rotary hook, which is specifically designed to cut the pipe header and to fix the pipe in order to prevent an oil spill. In addition, the gripper can also collect water samples and animal specimens from the simulated seafloor constructed by the MATE committee.