The bot sees things in water!

November 5

We had some more difficulties today. While going through the mission start checklist, I found that data from 3 of the 6 thrusters was being received only intermittently. Chris first thought that is was some problem with a driver card in the motor housing and we will have to open the motor pod to fix this. Bart decided to take a look at the screen-shot of the sensor state that we save at the beginning of every mission and realized that one battery had tripped off at night and did not get charged. This all took about an hour to figure out, and we all heaved a sigh of relief when we found that there was no major problem.

We also found that the forward-looking housing had water in it. This was because a fault with the sealing O-ring. Bill, Bart and Vickie were able to fix this without too much difficulty.


Kristof found that the forward-looking camera housing had water in it. Kristof and Bill inspecting the housing.

We finally put the bot down the melt-hole and went on a mission. The objective of this missions was to figure out whether we could use a forward-mounted multi-beam sonar for detecting obstacles. We hung three different obstacles from the melt-hole – an ice-chipper bar, a weight bag suspended from a cable and a PVC pipe. We were able to see all the three objects in the visualizer that was written by people at UIC visualization lab and built-upon by Chris. All in all, it turned out to be a useful day.

Three Objects at 15m 11-05-09

A screenshot of the visualizer that displays the returns from the forward looking vertical multi-beam sonar. The dense red dots at the top are the ice surface of the lake. The objects that we suspended from the melt-hole are clearly visible. Photo courtesy Chris and Bill.


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