Wrapping Up Year 1

Phase 4: Active Testing

Sprint 10, April 11 — April 25

What did mechanical do?

During the final sprint of the year, Mechanical began fabrication on Hawsepiper, our wing-sailed trimaran. Outriggers were cut on the ShopBot, a keel support was plasma-cut, and the wing-sail CAD was finalized. Looking back at the year’s goals, Mechanical is only slightly behind its somewhat-ambitious goals, but ready to finish fabricating Hawsepiper early next semester.

What did Software do?

The Software Subteam continued integrating ROS nodes, writing unit tests, and working on obstacle detecting using computer vision. Due to an inability to water test this year, caused by weather and logistical constraints, Software didn’t sacrifice sleep and well-being to finish integration. Instead, final integration will be finished over the summer.

However, Software was able to begin work on obstacle detection using computer vision, which was not something originally slated for this year. Subteam members were able to take the IntAI neural network’s output, look for breaks in the detected waterline, and use that to determine if there was an obstacle in the image. The method has so far worked surprisingly well, but it still needs more testing to determine its performance and reliability across various environmental conditions. They are also working on creating their own artificial neural network to directly detect obstacles in an image, but this is still early in development.

What did Electrical do?

With Hawsepiper in early fabrication, Electrical purchased a waterproof servo for the wing sail’s flap. They also waterproofed the connectors on the Airmar and consulted Mechanical in the design of the wing sail’s electrical conduit.

With the first year of our five-year plan at a close, we are largely on-track, which is exciting. We have successfully retrofitted Damn Yankee, which we renamed Git Boat; converted our software system to ROS; and largely integrated all of the components. It should be quite feasible to finish integrating the software system over the summer in preparation for water testing early next semester.

The team is in excellent health, and as the year has progressed, our membership has only increased. We’ve laid out an onboarding strategy for next year and are eagerly looking forward to welcoming even more new members in the fall.