Posted by Deliverator on March 30th, 2005
I have been thinking about trying to get the TRC to build a robotic submarine as our next big project. After the upcoming FIRST nationals in Atlanta, we won’t have any firm commitments for a while. I like the idea of a sub, as it is a project that can be built in stages, can be as simple or complex as we want to make it and can be used to teach a wide variety of electrical and mechanical skills. I have been doing a bunch of reading on the subject and think it is definitely something we can do. I am in the process of coming up with some basic designs upon which we can expand. One of my chief concerns right now is whether to try to design something that is close to neutrally buoyant, or something that has actively controlled dive tanks. Believe it or not, I am looking at the design of civil war era submarines for inspiration. The raising and subsequent study of The Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, has revealed a surprising degree of refinement and forethought in the design, yet all the major components of the sub were implemented in very straightforward, simple ways. What I want to make sure we do with this project is implement everything in straighforward ways and not add complexity where none is needed. If all goes well, we should be exploring the bottom of Lake Washington a few months after we come back from Atlanta.