David Wettergreen (new research fellow) and Chris Gasket (new doctoral student) have arrived and will begin work on underwater robotics.
The submersible has been fabricated by the University of Sydney. The motors have been mounted and a tether has been obtained. A problem exists with two of the motors which were damaged in shipping--each has a damaged internal magnet. Since a spare motor was purchased the sub has four operational thrusters. Paul Newman at the University of Sydney is trying without much success to get the manufacturer (who?) to send replacement motors or parts. The tether is identical to the one being used on Oberon and contains ten shielded, twisted-pairs, three power (gauge?) power lines, an one shielded coaxial cable.
Construction of the tank and enclosure at the ANU will begin soon. All designs are completed and approved. The tank, with depth about 1.65 meters and diameter about 4.2 meters, will have a small crane, storage shed, and fence surround. Construction is to begin by the end of February.
First step for the project is to formulate objectives and conduct a thorough survey of related research. Also we must begin a survey of necessary components to power and control the sub and find appropriate sensors. The initial emphasis will be to learn the issues and formulate a program of increasing robot autonomy and the application of underwater vision-based sensing.