Independent Research Summary

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:


Independent Research, 5/14/15

Today I was taking the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam and was not in class.


Class on 5/13/15

Today I was taking the AP English Language and Composition exam and so I was not in class.


Independent Research, 5/12/15 Part I

Today we had our mini-presentation in the beginning of class. It was a very nice setting and everyone that came was genuinely interested in all of our projects. It felt really nice to be able to present our progress as well as having people ask questions. We spent the rest of the period preparing for our larger presentation today at 1:45. I may update my web blog again after the presentation, but we will see.


Class on 5/11/15

Today I split my time in half working on two different things. One portion was spent studying for my AP exams on Wednesday and Thursday. The other portion I used to work on my presentation(s) for tomorrow. We have a brief presentation in the beginning of E period tomorrow, and then we have a large 'showcase' in the afternoon. Mason and I are collaborating on our presentation which makes it a lot easier to ensure that it is of the highest quality. I am looking forward to giving a, hopefully, great presentation tomorrow!


Independent Research, May4-8 2015

Most of this week was dedicated to AP exams. I took one on tuesday and thus was not in Independent that day. We are allowed to study for our AP exams and so I utilized this privilege to its fullest extent. We also got our cases for our Go-Pro cameras and so I made sure they worked with our setup, which thankfully they do! I believe we will work on how to mount them to the boat next week, but I also have AP exams on wednesday and thursday so I will be missing a couple of classes.


Class on 5/8/15

Today I worked on setting up the special Go-Pro cases as well as talking to Dr. Bill about our final grade. For our class we will be completing a video that is similar to our independent research videos as our final grade. Since I am working on the iboat in both periods I only need to make one video that will serve the same purpose for both periods. Anyways, the cases work just fine with the Go-Pros we have and here is some of the picture I got:

Here is the case and Go-Pro (note: they are not permanently mounted in that position)

Here is the video feed from the Go-Pro and case:


Independent Research, 5/8/15

Today we talked with Dr. Bill about a presentation that happened last night as well as a presentation we will have to do on Tuesday. It's a pretty large presentation on Tuesday so we will start preparing for that over the weekend. Also, we finally got the special Go-Pro cases! We charged the Go-Pro in this period and I will be testing it in my computer science period, which is next. I spent the remaining portion of my Independent period studying for AP exams while letting the Go-Pro charge.


Independent Research, 5/6/15

I spent todays class period preparing for my AP exams. I am studying for AP Language and Composition as well as AP Comparative Government. I am really appreciative of Dr. Bill allowing us to study for our AP exams during this stressful time. We also seem to have gotten an assignment from Mr. Schorn our schools webmaster, and I will look into it later.


Class on 5/6/15

The first half of todays class myself, some class mates, and Dr. Bill looked at the VR of the observatories that some previous students had worked on during their summer jobs with the observatories. It was pretty neat being able to see the inside of all the observatories as I have only been inside of one and so it was cool being able to compare them. The latter half of class I spent studying for my AP exams.


Independent Research, 5/5/15

I was not in class today because I was taking my AP Calculus BC exam. I will be back tomorrow.


Class on 5/4/15

Today I spent the class studying for one of my AP exams. I studied for AP Calculus BC, which is tomorrow morning. I will not be in class for the research project tomorrow and neither will Mason because we will be taking our AP exam.


Independent Research, Week of April 27-May 1 2015

What we did this week was all about the cameras. We are still waiting for the Go-Pro cases to come in so we can set that up with the video server, but other than that we mostly worked on mounting a camera to the motor. We mounted a silver camera Dr. Bill gave us to the part of the motor that will be in the water. This way we can see underwater while the boat is active. We have made sure that all of our systems work perfectly and they do. We are hopeful to get an ocean test in the last couple weeks of school.


Class on 5/1/15

Since we are working on our independent projects in this class I did not have much to do for the iboat. We are still waiting on the Go-Pro cases and once we get those we can get progress rolling again. Today I watched Abe with his coding and talked to him about it. It was pretty interesting to watch and a good class period overall. I can't wait for the parts to come in so that I can make more progress on my project!


Independent Research, 5/1/15

Mason and I are still waiting on the parts to come in. We need the special Go-Pro cases to be able to use the boat in the ocean. Without them we really can't put the boat in the ocean while being able to safely see everything below and above water. Since we didn't have the parts today we looked over the boat and all the systems. We made sure everything was still functioning properly and that nothing was hazardous. Everything checked out just fine and so now we are just waiting on those parts!


Independent Research, 4/29/15

This afternoon Mason and I worked on mounting the silver camera to the velcro on the motor. We agreed that it was the right decision and so we went ahead and put it on there. I also worked on splicing a power adapter so that we could take power from the battery to power the camera. We then plugged the camera into the video server and we got a feed from both of our cameras that were plugged in! We are still waiting for those special Go-Pro cases so that we can use it in the ocean. We do not know when they will show up and neither does Dr. Bill.

Here is the camera mounted onto the motor:

Here is the power adapter plugged into the red plug:
Here is a live video feed we had from both of our cameras. The one on the left is the yellow camera sitting on the boat deck while the one on the right is from the camera we mounted to the motor:


Class on 4/29/15

This morning I worked on mounting a camera onto the motor of the boat. Per Dr. Bills suggestion I used industrial strength velcro. The camera I was working on mounting is a silver, tubular shaped underwater camera that Dr. Bill gave us. Mostly I just put the velcro on and then double checked all the systems. I waited until E period to talk to Mason about the camera and mounting it as it was an important decision.

Here is the velcro strip mounted to the motor:

The silver object here is the camera:


Independent Research, 4/28/15

Today Mason and myself discussed the different cameras we could mount on the boat and how we could do it. We then discussed our options with Dr. Bill as well. We agreed that once we get the special Go-Pro cases we will use those. We are going to use a handlebar mount that Mason has. We are going to take this handlebar mount and put it on the motor shaft. We can then arrange it and tilt it so that it is facing forwards with our motor. This way we can turn the motor and scan underwater with the camera. We are also thinking of ways to mount other cameras above the surface so that we can see where we are going even when we are turning.


Class on 4/27/15

Today I worked on getting the video server to work over Bonjour on IP. I went through all the steps I did last time and made sure we had green power, network, and status lights on the video server. After that I gave it a couple minutes and then tried to access it on the Iboat network using Bonjour. This time it worked perfectly! I will talk with Mason about where we want to mount the camera we currently have and we will hopefully test it out next week. The special Go-Pro cases are supposed to arrive today so I will have to wait and see.

Here is our video server. I am accessing it over Bonjour:

Here is the video server page and the video feed as it is being accessed over Bonjour:


Independent Research, Week of April 20-24 2015

This week we worked on the circuitry in the pelican case. We made everything much neater and screwed it down to a piece of plywood for easy handling and arrangement of everything. It all works just fine too. We worked with the Linksys router as well as the video server. It all works perfectly when the WLAN is plugged into the Linksys. However, I can only access the Linksys when the WLAN is not plugged in. Therefore I will have to work out with Dr. Bill how we will be able to access the video server since there is no WLAN when the boat is in the water.