Monday, 25 November 2013

Keel FEA

** Thank you to Patrick "Paddy" Barry for his help with ANYSY**

The cumulation of many people's work.  The photo below show the results of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) run on the keel of the new vessel.  The keel was designed by Matt Davidson and lofted in Rhino by Sam Eisener.  From there is was exported to ANSYS where Matha Luiza Vilela Hermann and Plinio Ferreira-Pinto performed the FEA.  The results can be seen in the photo below, revealing 14 mm of tip deflection and a maximum stress of around 100 MPa.

Keel Stress

Keel Deflection

Although only one element of the vessel design,  this analysis demonstrates the amount of team work needed to complete even a small project.  All of the people mentioned above brought unique and necessary skills to the table and through collaboration were able to achieve a far better end result than any of them on their own.

From here the keel will move into the production design stage.  Stay tuned for more developments.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


In a shipyard, a major milestone is reached in when they start cutting steel as it marks the transition from the design stages into the production of the vessel.  While MUN SailBOT doesn't cut steel, we do cut balsa. 

The photo below shows 1/8 balsa sheet being cut into frames for the rudder using a laser cutter.  The rudder was design by Adam Day using XFLR5 (aerodynamic simulation software) and  Rhino (CAD program).  From the 3D Rhino model the shapes of the frames were extracted and exported to the laser cutter.  Although the process of cutting is quite fast,  we encountered numerous problems exporting the geometry of the frames in the correct format and required many test runs. It is thus a rewarding stage to reach as it marks surmounting technical problems and moving into the production of one of the many elements of the new boat.

Laser cutting balsa rudder frames

Monday, 23 September 2013

Wait... What?

Photo Credit: Ryan Williamson 

That is correct, St. John's with not a lick of wind.  After rigging up the boat and carting her down to Long Pond to shake the cobwebs out of the system -both mechanically and electrically- we found ourselves presented with an unusual situation: No Wind.  Although the mechanical elements could be tested manually without wind by using the hand controller, elements such as the GPS and the Autonomous code need vessel movement to invoke any response.  Never for lack of an idea, Austin and Gordo volunteered to tow Arctica around the pond to generate some sensor data  that would give us insight into how the boat is "thinking".

It was a strange sight all-in-all, a sailboat being towed around by a green punt, but a successful evening of tow-testing.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Out of the Box

Following a long rest after the 2013 competition, the Arctica is out of her box.  A preliminary test of her components revealed that all-systems-are-go and that testing can begin on Long Pond.  The preliminary testing is aimed at debugging the errors in the code that were discovered at the competition in Boston.  Once these bugs have been eradicated, the code will be refined to improve both our autonomous navigation and sail handling.

Stay tuned for future developments!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Hailing from the High Arctic...

MUN SailBOT would like to thank our newest sponsor, TSL Contractors LTD. for sponsoring us at the Top Sail Level! TSL Contractors LTD.  is a construction company based out of Whitehorse, Yukon with project experience as far as the South Pole. The sponsorship provided will assist in this year's travel costs and the costs associated with building the next robotic vessel. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

No More Swimming!!

Last year one of the items identified regarding development was the difficulty associated with testing. Both access to a suitable test site (a pond) and a proper chase were both lacking.  To remedy one aspect of this problem we have built a chase boat.  The photo above is of Liam Johnston and Carolyn O'Rourke (along with Tyler "Gordo" Gordon, photo credit) glassing the new vessel, Miss Smith.  The Miss Smith will be used primarily on Long Pond and should improved both our ability to monitor the Arctica's performance and reduce deployment of emergency swimmers.  More photos to follow as the Miss Smith conducts her pond trials.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

New Rudder

Austin Young and Adam Day (pictured above) presented the team with a gift last Wednesday - a new rudder. The rudder was designed in SolidWorks and then built using MUN's rapid-prototyping machine.  MUN SailBot hopes to do more work like this to reduce the time between idea inception and the testing of the new components.  Then next step for the rudder is to install it on the Arctica prior to her pond-trials this spring.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Back in Action

The team is back in Action.....

Team Members listed from right to left from Wednesday Meeting :

Peter Campbell, Adam Day, Austin Young, Taylor Gordon, Emily Adey, Liam Johnson, Mingxi Zhou, Adam Swan, Justin Royce, Carolyn O'Rourke, Ben Pallard, Ed Moakler, Matt Davidson, Zhi Li, Daniel Cook

Note: Jordan Smith is missing from picture as he took the photo