JEFF KENNEDY AND EMMETT
GAMROTH KNOW HOW TO FIT SMART things into small
packages. The Mechanical Engineering grad students
have developed a “set
it and forget it” mini submarine.
It can be programmed
to conduct sonar tests, monitor water turbidity,
map the seabed, sweep mines or survey shipwrecks—it’s just
a versatile “platform” for whatever
instruments or cameras need to be attached to
Kennedy and Gamroth say
their invention combines the best features
of remotely operated and autonomous vehicles.
It has four thrusters, vertical and horizontal,
so it’s able to hover in one
spot. It can operate in up to 91 metres of water,
weighs just 68 kg, and at $30,000 compares quite
nicely to the $500,000 price of similar subs.
The duo’s master’s thesis project
was funded in part by the Department of National
Defense and their supervisor, Prof. Colin Bradley.
The prototype made its
debut at the annual ASI Exchange in Vancouver,
a showcase of new technology from universities
and private firms. UVic teams walked away from
the event with awards for innovation (electromagnetic
braking systems designed by the team of David
Cruz, Luis da Luz and Stephen Ferguson) and
two awards for communication skills (Glenn
Mahoney and the team of Gonçalo
Pedro and Marc Secanell).
Back to Ringside