Congratulations to UF’s NaviGator AMS team, winner of the 2016 Maritime RobotX Challenge ( in Hawaii. See and for more info.

UF’s Team NaviGator AMS, winner of the 2016 Maritime RobotX Challenge in Oahu, Hawaii

Great day at the pool today

Today was one of the most successful testing days we’ve had in a while.  We continued to tune our controller virtually eliminating the sway caused by under-damping (see videos 04Jun13).  Using our improved controller, we were able to drive squares in the pool with waypoint navigation.  Now that we have a more stable platform, we will begin to put more emphasis on computer vision and LADAR data. Turning a lemon into lemonade, the rain today tested our water resistant enclosures.  I’m
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First time in the 50 yd pool

We had a successful testing day at the UF pool today.    The 50 yd  was great, allowing us to move longer distances without having to worry about colliding with the wall.  The team improved PropaGator’s controller by tuning software gains which reduced the amount of “fish tailing” while moving forward.  We also performed our camera and LADAR alignment using the checkerboard.
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Magnetometer Testing

Today we conducted our first magnetometer calibration out of the water.  This test helps the boat identify how the ferrous materials on the boat affect our nine-axis sensor.  In order for PropaGator to determine its hard iron signature, we had to rotate, roll, and pitch the boat.  With this new data, we are able to more accurately detect the surrounding magnetic field. Below is a 3D graph showing the hall effect experienced by the magnetometer as we rotated the boat.    
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SRP Demonstration

Dan demonstrating how to use the SRP:  
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RoboBoat Challenge Stations

Team PropaGator has begun building the challenge stations for RoboBoat 2013.  We’ve created the shoot through the hoop challenge and are now working on the “Rock, Scissors, Paper, Lizard, Spock” and “Sneaky Sprinkler” challenges.
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Subtractive Rapid Prototyping

The Machine Intelligence lab received a new tool this week, a subtractive rapid prototyping machine.  It’s basically a small milling machine with user friendly software.  The machine can cut up to aluminum.  We now have the ability to manufacture load bearing parts very accurately.
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Conversion to reactor core design started

We have finally removed our computer box and replaced it with two reactor cores.  The stbd core contains the higher current circuits (Power Router, motor controllers, and batteries) while the port side contains the computer components (PC, computer power supply, Ethernet switch, and INS). On Saturday, we continued to test our controller and Kalman filter.  We are having some issues with oscillations and poor GPS data.  Station holding and way point navigation works but there is still room for im
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Dart Propulsion

In order to minimize our dart gun footprint and allow for a more controlled discharge, we’ve been looking into manufacturing our own dart launcher.  Using parts from toy missile guns, we demonstrate how the weapon may be actuated in the above video.
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Saturday Success!

Placing PropaGator in the water on Saturday was a success!  PropaGator performed well during the testing of propulsion and wireless communication.  Next pool day will be Saturday March 16th.
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