Continued progress and unwelcome interference

The fourth sprint of the year was plagued by illness, ramping up classes, and Hell Week for FWOP’s rendition of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Nevertheless, progress was made, albeit at a reduced pace.


With their focus directed entirely on Hawsepiper, Mechanical split into smaller subteams focused on hull prototyping, wingsail design, and miscellaneous Hawsepiper CAD tasks. Mechanical is ready to start shopbotting the hull with foam ready to go. A small sketch model of the wingsail already exists with somewhat scaled dimensions, but Mechanical is now finalizing the fabrication process for a full size wingsail prototype. The Hawsepiper CAD now has preliminary CAD for the daggerboard and outrigger interfacing.


The Computer Vision Subsubteam finished their foundational readings and videos and began playing with Mask R-CNN. They discovered that, though it was able to identify boats, its performance was fairly underwhelming. Running on a laptop, it was able to process a couple frames per second of live webcam video.

Mask R-CNN can recognize boats! Yay!

They are now working on getting it set up on the Jetson TX2, but they will likely switch to a different CNN, such as YOLO or Faster R-CNN.

Those working with the Adafruit bno055 IMU discovered a hardware bug in the Raspberry Pi 3 was the source of all their woes. After many hours of hair-pulling, they were able to get it working with a RasPi 2. Fortunately, the Jetson has an I2C connection we can use going forward.

Members of the Planning and Controls Subsubteam got extensive feedback on their short course planner code and also began thinking about how planning should work on a larger scale. Moving on to the next stage will require a map of the surroundings to navigate, and thus a Mapping Subsubteam will be formed after Thanksgiving Break.


The Electrical Subteam continued work on the Hawsepiper interface PCB. The USB hub design was finalized and, pending a final design review, is ready to be checked off the list.

A schematic for the USB hub on the Hawsepiper electronics interface board.


As class final projects continue to ramp up, they noticeably suck people away from their second and third priorities. Alas, it is something we must deal with and plug along as much as we can regardless.