Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week TechVideo, 2008 #34 - Lego Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

It is not one other LEGO underwater machine (probably will publish here about that one too, in the near future), recently shown at 'NI Week 2008' in Austin, Texas USA.
But something equally unexpected and amazing!

On the video below two AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) performing amazingly.
One submersible and one line follower.

These were Polytechnic University's developed AUVs, shown at ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) in 2007.
Each AUV here presented, was controlled by an RCX perfectly insulated, to operate underwater. In what concers LEGO motors, they
are not watertight but more like water resistant.

Do not submerge your motors at home, because there is an huge chance to damage them. If trying, you are doing it at your own risk!


Anonymous said...

That is messed up.

Submerging your motors like that? it probably only works a couple times before shorting out ....

Anonymous said...

Maybe using destilled water could help.
But I wouldn't try THAT..

Daniel from Germany

Alex Campos said...

Dang, I think I got some new white hairs while watching this video (and the one at Texas)... poor motors, I feel sorry for them!

Now that I think of it, maybe this is a reason why LEGO doesn't manufacture propellers with symmetric pitches: it would be a real temptation to try risky LEGO contraptions, like flying, or, like on these videos, submersible machines.

Still, I sure wish I had the guts to build a working submarine with only LEGO parts!

Anonymous said...

You know... back in the day...
like.... wayyyyyy back when i was a little kid i was trying to build a boat with a working prop and motor ....

it failed miserably because I wasn't so good of a lego kid back then...

but the motor never died and it definitely got a taste or two of water.. .not completely submersed but still, i was surprised.

Jams wants someone to use those real lego boat motors you got on the old fire and police boats, and put those to good use on a submarine

That would be chillen...... but not controllable .... so I guess that defeats the purpose

and yes, i did just have a conversation with myself. Suck it

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the students at Polytechnic University (now Polytechnic Institute of NYU, the motors work fine after being submerged. In the three years that this project has been available for students, maybe about 5 of the motors have actually died out of a batch of 200.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the same can be said for the new PF motors?

I guess that makes sense though, all a motor is, is charged wires (which are coated in enamel anyways == water..resistant)

rotating because of magnets

So if all the connections and solder points are clean and proper I guess we win!

Alex Campos said...

2.5% failure in three years is quite a feat!
Did you do "autopsies" of the motors, to see if it was indeed the water the culprit, or instead some other factor?

Anonymous said...

The students at Poly have recently taken steps to completely waterproof the motors and the NXT Brick to prevent there from being any damage to them.
The motors that died in the past were the result of water leaking into them, an unfortunate loss seeing as it could have been avoided.

Raider said...

I have one of the mini-motors and have managed to strip it many times. Inside one of these motors is a coreless "pancake" motor, a pair of capacitors, and some gears. What I did not find was grease, which is good in this case, because when you strip it to dry it out, you don't have to relube. A blow drier should suffice.

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