MicroSeeker Pool Test

On July 13, 2003, MicroSeeker had its first-ever fully autonomous in-water testing (running Squeak on board). The tests were conducted at a co-worker's house, who has a pool in his back yard. (Thanks Tom)

The results were mixed -- it was definitely nice seeing the sub move around by itself, but the thruster motors are definitely too weak. Its also a pain to have to open the case to reset the PDA, when the inevitable network glitches happen.

We took a few minutes of video, and I will be posting that shortly, once we get it edited and cut down to a reasonable size. In the mean time, here are a few pictures...

Here it was, open on the bench, just before we put it in the water the first time. The PDA is a Dell Axim, and it is running a shrunk Squeak 3.4 image under Pocket Windows. The PDA has an 802.11 compact-flash card, and my laptop (which you can see in the picture) also has an 802.11 card. I am using Remote Commander by Stephan Rudlof to talk between the two machines. I can choose a mission, and start it  from the laptop while the sub is sitting in the water ready to go. I can also update any method on the PDA from the laptop with one menu choice.

The embedded microcontroller is a PIC 16F877, programmed in C using the CCS C compiler.

Here's MicroSeeker in the water, tooling along at the surface. The tilt servo was broken, so it couldn't keep itself under the surface (the positive buoyancy forces it to the surface, unless it can tilt the thrusters to force it to stay under).
And here's another picture of the sub, after a simple mission.

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please email me.