Blog Posts

October 2023

Diving Deeper in VRX Phase 2:

October was all about the second part of the VRX 2023 competition. We worked hard to make our boat smarter in the computer simulation. We practiced a lot, making our boat dodge virtual obstacles and find its way. The VRX challenge keeps us on our toes, and we're excited to see what comes next!

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July 2023

Starting Our VRX 2023 Journey:

In July, we began our adventure in the VRX 2023 competition. Using a computer program (Gazebo), we practiced controlling our virtual boat in different situations. We learned a lot and had fun trying out new ideas. With Phase 1 wrapped up, we're eager to keep learning and sailing ahead!

February 2023

Our team is shifting gears from celebrating our recent success to planning for the future. With our sights set on the next RobotX challenge in 2024, we're already thinking about ways to improve our team and our WAM-V. At the same time, we're laying the groundwork for our short-term Kingfisher project, which we hope to launch in 2023. To support these endeavors, we're actively seeking out new sponsors and partners who share our vision for pushing the boundaries of autonomous marine technology.

BMS: Improving our hardware

Receiving our merits! 

November 18th 2022

On November 18th, the week-long competition had finally come to an end. We were thrilled to announce that we had come first overall in Australia and third in the RobotX-air challenge, as well as fourth overall in the Autonomy Challenge. It was a challenging and exciting week, and we had pushed ourselves to the limit with all-nighters to practice and improve our WAM-V for the various challenges.

Despite the exhaustion, we had a great time meeting new teams and bonding with our own team members. One of the highlights of the week was a fun BBQ we had at our Airbnb. Looking back, we felt a sense of pride in all that we had accomplished and how much we had grown as a team. It was an unforgettable experience that we will cherish for a long time to come.

November 10th 2022

We were eagerly preparing for the upcoming competition, feeling a mix of nerves and pride. After months of hard work designing and building the robot, we were focused on double-checking equipment, testing software systems, and updating documentation. Despite the nerves, we were excited to see the other teams and put our skills to the test. As we finished packing our gear, anticipation built for the day we had been working towards - the day when our hard work would pay off.

The WAM-V packed and ready to go!

Lidar + 3 Cameras Streaming over the Network using ROS - September 2022

September 2022

In September, we really focused on getting ensuring our core systems we're operating correctly. This included having ROS launch scripts configured and setup to Run our Cameras and Lidar without any network bandwith issues. 

LCM Drivers were developed for the front thruster control over CAN. and LCM ROS drivers we're developed for the navigation systems.

Robonation also visited the Lab to test the trailer design on our WAM-V. This was to help them with their design of the trailer, but use as a result of this, it brought up and issue that we did not forsee. The Front thruster mounts would not work on the designed trailer and needed to be modified. The issue was that the front thrusters would interfere with the trailer and it would not be able to get in and out of the trailer when deploying the WAM-V in the water. This was a setback but on that we are determined to fix before the Competition.

August 2022

August was a month where we could start feeling the time pressure.

The Lidar and Camera mount design was initiated. We wanted to replicate our system that we had for the VRX Challenge so we attempted to keep the same centered camera array principle. Hrithrik began the design and prototype of the camera mount. At this point we we're finalising the camera selection.

For the WAM-V we wanted to add 2 front bow thrusters. This will give us more control in the RobotX Challenges. Many thrusters we're considered but eventually we managed to select some 2KW Flipsky Waterproof thrusters. They supported the voltage we are operating at and can provide great power. The front thruster mounting system was designed and laser cut. And await to be welded together.

Camera + HSI Camera Mount - September 2022

Front Motor Thruster Mount Ready to be Welded  - August 2022

July 2022

There was a little bit of a Hiatus after the VRX Challenge. In July the Winter break was in full effect so we wanted to take advantage of this as much as possible. Our aims for this was to try document and see what we have of our current system and take advantage our work in the VRX challenge and see what was the best way to implement it.

Thanks to Murray we have our system well documented as well as our workspace ready to go with Ubuntu and ROS. We had dusted off the Lidar that was previously used in 2018 and recovered the ROS drivers for that system and got it up and running.

We also spent a good amount of time investigating the use of Docker for our software systems.

April 2022

In April the final submission for the VRX Challenge we due. We spent our time developing our time and allowing ourselfve to have a solid attempt at most of the tasks in the competition. We challenged ourselves and managed to achieved 6th place in the competition, managing to achieve strong result in the docking challenge.

Worspace Setup with Lidar working over ROS - July 2022

USYD Team on a Weekend Sprint for VRX Phase 2 - March 2022

March 2022

In March the USYD Team hustled their efforts to coordinate a submission for the Phase 2 of the VRX Challenge. This push us to develop our code as getting familiar with our Submission systems.

The Team got together on the weekend before submission at the university to get together and coordinate our efforts for phase 2 submission.