Olin Update: Controlled Tests
The Olin crew has been hard at work over the last few days characterizing and testing their fleet.
On the list has been test flying the new IRIS+, assembling the two new HexH2O Aquacopters, and waiting patiently for the Aquacopter BullFrog to arrive. The old quadcopters and hexacopters are still undergoing modifications – the last iteration of the waterproof gimbal shield is underway, and the prototypes of a landing mechanism are being developed.
On the software side of things, a different group of Olin students have been collaborating with us for navigation purposes (being able to send a ‘mission’ to a drone and have it execute it), and after spring break it’ll be tested more thoroughly. The self-written joystick control and simple autonomy programs have also continued to be tested with success!
Last, in the past week the crew has been hard at work finishing a paper for the IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA) in which Olin presents characterization data on the hexacopters and IRIS+ quadcopter.
The results are no less than optimistic – in controlled testing over a silent pool, it was revealed that the vehicles produce extremely quiet sounds – no different than ambient splashing. This backs up what the group found in the Gulf of Mexico. Even more promising, the downwash from the rotors is similar to that of ambient ocean breezes – even in the worst case scenario of direct hover about the surface (in reality, the vehicle should never drop below 10 feet above the water).
The Olin group is currently in Spring Break, but upon return will be looking forward to more intensive testing and development of hardware and software systems for the SnotBots.