My project, the remotely piloted marine study platform, was started with the goal of being able to study a variety of marine life while causing minimal disturbance in mind. I combined my passion for animals, as I want to be a veterinarian, with my partner’s passion for engineering. Our collaboration can only be described as a truly unique opportunity. Not only is more than 95% of the world’s ocean unexplored, but also this would be the first project to offer a simultaneous audio-visual live stream that can be accessed by the public. This project demonstrates the wonderful chances we have to study the humpback whales and their calves that make the Hawaiian islands their temporary home. Our project is also flexible in the sense that we want to leave a legacy where other students can take our project and modify it to fit their future projects needs.
We were able to accomplish a lot this year. We restored the iboat to working condition and even improved upon it. Our servo and propulsion system works like a dream. Our Linksys wifi in conjunction with our Phidgets control boards and Axis video server are all set up and they too work well. Our Go-Pro cases are perfect and all we had left was to attach them to the iboat.
Mason and I are hoping to be able to work on it over summer and get it into the ocean, but I am anticipating to be extremely busy with a couple of jobs this summer so we will see! We also still don't have a hydrophone, but maybe that is something for the future students to take up.
In hindsight this was a great learning experience. We faced some challenges and were able to over come them with the help of Dr. Bill and others at the Energy Lab. I hope that future students can be as inspired by this project as we were.
Here is my summary video: