Ingenuity innovators enhance autonomous underwater vehicle

A hit multi-year project from Ingenuity 2019 has had innovative enhancements by final year engineering students Eli Duykers, Jessica Evans, Joyce Jollands and Nathan Morrissey.

two women and one man are holding a prototype rectangular mechanical object. they are smiling

A group of engineering students in 2019 designed and built an autonomous, biologically inspired underwater vehicle that propels itself in a similar way to a cuttlefish to minimise impact on its surrounding environment.

The result is a vehicle that can be used across multiple applications – whether defence, marine surveillance, or environmental research. The AUV is able to travel underwater without disrupting the surrounding underwater environment because of its cuttlefish-inspired design.

This year the team focused on innovating increased autonomy, robustness and efficiency of the AUV.

“Our prototype has improved waterproofing and also uses robotic vision for autonomous navigation capabilities,” the team said.

“We also created a 3D Digital Twin that digitally models the AUV’s physical and functional characteristics and helps with testing design changes and enhancements to autonomy”.

A Digital Twin is the virtual counterpart to a physical system, which can both receive input and influence the physical system (while maintaining a two-way form of communication).

What are we excited about?

“This type of innovation can be used for many different types of applications – like search and rescue, research, surveillance and environmental mapping. We focused on enhancing the autonomous capability of the prototype, redesigned the membrane and experimentally tested wave forms that continue to mimic the non-destructive undulating wing motion of a cuttlefish,” they said.

Where can you see more?

The team will be showcasing their project at Ingenuity – an interactive showcase of university student projects exploring real-life applications of architecture, engineering, computer and mathematical sciences. Come and say hello at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 26 October under the Transforming Technologies theme. Registrations essential!

Tagged in ingenuity, Mechanical Engineering, student experience, Student achievement