UVic Torch -- Spring 2004
Spring 2004,
Volume 26, Number 1

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A Mini Yellow Submarine - Photgraph by Diana Nethercott A Mini Yellow Submarine
Submersible thesis: Jeff Kenedy and Emmett Gamroth with their MACO II autonomous underwater vehicle.
Photography by DIANA NETHERCOTT


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 it.

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).

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