Robosub 2016 – Day 4: The Qualifications

Today was the beginning of the sprint to achieve our goals. The team when for the first time to the TRANSDEC (exceptional pool where the competition is).  Wake up hours: 5:15. All along the competition, the opening hour to reserve tests is 6:00 and the first tests are at 7:00. All the teams who are on the site at 5:59 are taking part in a lottery. The first one to be picked have the chance to choose their first test slot. The second team with the second choice and so forth. And that is why the first team have to wake up at 5:15. We just have the time to throw our-selves water in the face and to dress ourselves with our clean clothes. For the one who are worried about us, you are right to do so, because no, we don’t have time to get coffee. Coffee is supposed to arrive with the second group. As you may have understood, we separate the team into two groups. The first one has to live sooner to be part of the lottery to let the second group sleep an hour more. The fact is that the second group need this additional hour of sleep because normally, the members will code until late and it can take a while.


For what happens today, we had four tests. The first one was at 7:30. We had thruster issues. Both front thrusters stopped working. In consequence, we were not able to pass through the first gate and get qualified for the semi-finals for our first try. Even so, we were able to log data from the hydrophones.

However, good news, after four liters of coffee later (or 10 minutes for the ones who were asking), we found and we solved the “problem”. It was the navigation card that was problematic. We just swap it with the spare one we brought. Curiously, we never found the problem on the card. The only conclusion we have is Babe was to stress. (Again, for the ones who wan to know, Babe is the informal name of our submarine).

With the experience and the vigor Babe have, we went back easily on the right way to succeed on the second run. We qualified for the semi-finals and we logged information on the different obstacle with our sonar and our cameras. To reuse the sentences of our sonar and camera specialists: “It’s awesome! We are in business”. We stayed on this task in the third test.

For the last test, we went back on the hydrophone issue. We worked hard to make it work but in vain. We had been forced to back our stuff and go back to the hotel, because there were no more test slots available.

Tonight on the menu: Solve the hydrophones issue, working on the mapping user interface, improve the mapping function, calibrate the vision filters can solve few bugs on the CAN.

On tomorrow menu: Everything will depend on tonight results. But there is already 2 things we need to do: confirm the buoy mission and make the hydrophones work.

Sorry for the delay, we had communication issues last night.