The goal of this project was to build a swarm of autonomous robots to map underwater terrain. Research was conducted by the Autonomous Underwater Robots team to determine the best means in which to approach this problem. Specialized detection methods were generated by using blue LEDs and blue filtered photodiodes. The physical design of the robots involved using RC submarine platforms that were modified to include additional subsystems. The additional subsystems used for each submarine are the detection array, the power system, the motor control system, and the camera system.
Individual swarm members were designed to swarm using minimalistic swarming techniques. They follow cohesion, alignment, and separation criteria in order to complete the task successfully. Image stitching software was used to compile an image from the smaller images taken by each of the swarm members. The swarm members will also be designed to meet specific cost criterion. Our proposed project can be accomplished with less than $1000. The team investigated various cost-effective methods to waterproof the submarines. The autonomous submarines were designed with societal and environmental impacts taken into consideration.