Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A New Hull

The new hull for the 2015 IRSR competition is underway and looking great thus far. This hull form has undergone a few revisions and is currently in the stages of analysis using software such as GHS and hopefully ANSYS CFX. Some upcoming changes to the hull form include:


  • Adding more buoyancy to the bow to reduce trim when running
  • Attempt to ensure that her natural pitch frequency is nowhere near that of the expected wave frequency, since this was a problem that was seen with Trixie.
  • any changes resulting from the construction design, such as implementing a crash bow similar to Trixie's bow.
It is expected that within the next couple weeks, the construction of the mold will begin.




Aside from a new hull, the team is also redesigning a new bulb, redesigning the sail plan, a new rudder and a complete overhaul of the electronics system.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Progress on Programming!

Along with a new semester, a new boat, and a new team, some new code is needed. Nick Shiell, and Zachary Faulkner are stepping up to the plate and writing it. The biggest changes this year will be the switch to RoS (Robot Operating System), changing the navigation method, and working with an updated wind sensor design. All of which is rather exciting!

While the switch to RoS will have a decent amount of overhead, our programmers believe the pay off will be well worth it, as RoS is much more suited to working with the SailBot, alongside all the coming updates in the electronics and the software.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Another Year, Another Boat

The beginning of a new academic year for the MUN SailBOT team has come and we are once again beginning the design and fabrication of a new boat. Our team has also been given the honor of hosting the 2015 IRSR in our own city, St. John's, NL.

The next couple of semesters will require a lot of time and hard work to complete these tasks, but with the addition of our new team members, the lessons learned through the design of Trixie and her performance at the 2014 IRSR and a little help from our sponsors, this years competition will be a success.

Thank-You Husky Energy



MUN SailBOT would like to thank Husky Energy for their generous sponsorship of $1000. The money will be used to cover travel costs for the competition. This sponsorship has been a great help for the SailBOT team.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Trixie's Success

This years competition has now come to an end with MUN SailBOT placing 3rd (a close 2nd) of 5. Trixie performed exceptionally well this year and we were all pleased with her success. Many lessons were learned during the event and new ideas for the design of our next vessel are forming.

A special thanks to our sponsors for making this success possible.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Its The Final Countdown

Well a lot has happened within the last month or two and its been quite a successful time. After a hard 10 months of work, the beautiful Trixie has now been completely designed and built and as of a couple of weeks ago, the testing stage has begun. But now the time has come to stand tall and really show off Trixie's skills during the annual SailBOT competition which is held in San Francisco this year. Very soon, we (6 team members) will be leaving together with Trixie in our pocket and hope in our hearts!





Saturday, 10 May 2014

Little Dragon Gets Smart

Over the past few months Zhi Li has been working on a new test vessel.  Something small and easy to deploy, while at the same time being capable of mimicking the 2-m vessel Trixie such that any code developed can be transferred over to the larger vessel. In essence, a navigation code development platform.

The boat picture below is the Little Dragon, a 1-m RC vessel which has been modified to work with the Xbee radio system, GPS and wind sensor used on Trixie.  The two sensors  relay information to a BeagleBone nested inside the vessel.  The Beaglebone then relays this information through the Xbee back to the shore based computer. 

The beauty of this system is in how the autonomous code is integrated.  Instead of being downloaded onto the Beaglebone, the code is run wirelessly from the shore computer.  For testing and trouble shooting navigation code, this allows changes to be made rapidly without having to bring Little Dragon back to the dock.

Little Dragon should be a great asset for this year, as well as future generations of the team, having successfully allowed the build of the vessel to be carried out independent of the testing of navigation code.

Below is the code that runs the communication and control system.  Open to anyone and every one to use. 

Code Link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwp9qS8JICuZMENNNGVScUptcGM/edit?usp=sharing