Parvus sponsors university students in national underwater vehicle competition

A graduate student team from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) participated in the AUVSI/ONR 8th International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition at the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego, CA (August 3-7, 2005).

By Control Engineering Staff August 11, 2005
Two video cameras connected by USB are the “eyes” of Nautilus AUV, through which SpacePC CPUs from Parvus gather and processes data critical to mission objectives.

A graduate student team from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) participated in the AUVSI/ONR 8th International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition at the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego, CA (August 3-7, 2005). Georgia Tech’s team relied on embedded PC/104 computing hardware from Parvus Corp . to power its autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) entry named “Nautilus.” The competition focuses on autonomous robotics with the purpose to successfully navigate an unmanned submarine through a field of obstacles and complete its programmed mission.

To assist the university team in this annual unmanned submersible vehicle contest, Parvus donated several of its SpacePC embedded PC boards, OnPower PC/104 power supplies, and I/O modules. These compact, ruggedized components are said to provide an ideal computing platform to support the team in navigating its custom-designed AUV through a series of demanding trials at SPAWAR’s Transducer Evaluation Center.

Nautilus unmanned submarine incorporates three embedded processors, which serve as the brains of the unit and communicates with the surroundings via Parvus’ PC/104 Ethernet card and 62-channel digital I/O board. Parvus boards are responsible for processing streaming video data, customized mapping software, problem solving, priority tasking, as well as agent-based Artificial Intelligence for on-the-fly decision making. “Processing vision data is very difficult because of the large amount of real-time data and computationally intense algorithms. Parvus’ CPUs handle this load with time to spare,” says Georgia Tech team captain John Griffin.

Two graduates and eight undergraduates comprise the team, with fields of study in Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Aeronautical Engineering. For additional information on the AUVSI/ONR competition, visit this Web site .

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com