Raspberry Pi-powers DIY autonomous underwater vehicle

Built by a team of engineering undergraduates from Singapore, the robotic vessel dubbed Coconut Pi uses both the Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

Coconut Pi
This Coconut Pi isn't edible. Coconut Pi

It seems creativity knows no bounds when it comes to the Raspberry Pi. The $25 credit card-size computer has turned mixologist , powered an R2-D2 toy robot , and was even sent into near space.

Now, thanks to a group of National University of Singapore engineering undergraduates, the Raspberry Pi has also conquered water. Dubbed the Coconut Pi, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) uses the Raspberry Pi for memory-intensive functions, while it relies on Arduino for precise control.

Sponsored by Raspberry Pi seller RS Components, Team Coconut Pi took third place in the 2013 Singapore Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge. The AUV had to be able to identify and follow a black line and surface upon detecting a yellow floating ring.

To detect obstacles, Coconut Pi uses a Webcam to "see," while the Raspberry Pi is essentially its brains. The AUV is equipped with gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers, as well as pressure and flow sensors.

Of course, Coconut Pi had to be completely waterproofed, but its $800 hull cracked a week before the competition. Running low on funds, the team floated a crazy idea and bought a simple $16 Lock & Lock plastic storage box.

For now, the undergraduates have no other plans for the Coconut Pi but may dismantle it for future robotics projects. Well, some might say that's the way the Pi crumbles.

(Source: Crave Asia)

 

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