17 March 2014 –  BumbleBee Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (BBAUV) project team, sponsored by Hallin Marine, won first place at the Singapore AUV Challenge (SAUVC) 2014, which took place over 14 – 16 March. BBAUV was the only team to complete the entire course this year. 

Mechanical work on the new vehicle commenced in October 2013 . The fabrication this year was completed with a sponsorship by Cititech Engineering and in-house support from NUS Mechanical Engineering Fabrication Support Centre. Upgrades include an anodised aluminium frame with drill pattern for modularity, and better integration of components for increased performance. The electrical team fabricated custom boards to optimise power, sensors and actuators systems. A more robust algorithm using phase difference was used for acoustics localisation.


After 5 months of preparations by the mechanical and electrical team, the software team tested the AUV underwater for more than 200 hours to meet the increased challenges of the 2014 course. In SAUVC, 10 minutes of competition run time is given to complete 4 tasks autonomously. Using computer vision, the AUV followed a black line, moved towards a bucket, knocked down a flare and surfaced into the ending zone using acoustics localisation. A ball was also dropped into the bucket when the pneumatic cylinder retracts after the vehicle centred over the bucket. A full underwater video playback can be seen here. [ 2:15 onwards]

This is a video of our competition run.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQN_ZnHpYGU”]

The 2014 team mainly comprises of new members who had to cope with the steep learning curve and high expectations. “It has been fraught with setbacks but I am very honoured to lead these students who are not just technically outstanding, but passionate and dedicated towards a common goal.” team leader Thomas Ng shared. “We are also very fortunate to have strong support from industry sponsors, such as Seatronics Group, Festo and National Instruments, as well as NUS Faculty of Engineering and School of Computing. 

 The strong finish  is a good morale booster for the team, who will compete for the second year in the 17th AUVSI Robosub, organised by Office of Naval Research and AUVSI Foundation. Robosub will be held from 18 July to 3 August this year, attracting top underwater robotics teams around the world. The mechanical and electrical team will be working to integrate a lighter Doppler Velocity Log, new cameras and acoustics systems, while the software team will test their vision algorithms for the tough Robosub challenge course.


For more information, please visit the team website at bbauv.com or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bbauv.