“Rich Girl” faired well in the 2017 Roboboat competition. We realized a few things regarding the hardware platform that we could tweak.
We lost a lot of significant points in the weight category due to our 54 lb Torqueedo battery. We liked the approach of having a large battery, but we would still like to cut weight. That is why the team is working on finishing a new set of lighter pontoons for the vehicle! We have learned a lot from making the last pair of pontoons, and this set has been a lot easier to fabricate (We hope to include details of our newer fabrication technique in our 2018 paper, or in a future blog post). These pontoons still have embedded 8020 aluminum extrusion so that we can add additional components (as well as make adjustments) on the fly without much difficulty, however, we have decided to switch to the ‘half’ rail style.
Here’s a sneak preview:
Additionally, we realized last year that our onboard computers, the Intel NUCs, were overheating due to the hot Daytona sun. This caused the computers to ‘under clock’ themselves to self preserve its CPU. We did not anticipate this problem working in our indoor lab. This year, for the first time in our Roboboat experience, we are testing a cooling and circulation system. If we find that the system yields improved performance, we will include it in the vehicle we are bringing to competition.
Hope to see you guys at the 2018 RoboBoat competition!