November-December Progress Update
Throughout the month of November we were testing our different prototypes to create the most cost-efficient and functional product that we could make.
We needed to have working prototypes for our Key Largo trip on December 1st so that we could test them while we stayed underwater for 24 hours in Jules’ Undersea Lodge. We discovered the day before we left for our trip that our initial idea to have PVC piping for the housing with a clear plastic Blue Robotics End cap wouldn’t work due to the differences in compatibility of the materials. After figuring this information out we had to quickly adapt and use Blue Robotics end caps with the Blue Robotics housings to test in Key Largo.
On the first night of our trip we tested the cameras and discovered that the wires we have been using for the connection from the voltage regulator to the dummy batteries are too thin. The wires ended up breaking under the strain of the adhesive and electrical tape. Needing supplies we made a quick trip to Radio Shack to get a soldering iron, wire, and connectors so we could fix the problem. Once the problem was solved we put together two prototypes and got them ready to be tested the next day.
The morning of Wednesday, December 2nd the entire robotics team went 40 minutes off shore to a John Pennekamp Coral Reef and snorkeled above Christ of the Abyss.
After we returned from our trip to the coral reef, Wednesday afternoon, our group was separated into two teams. Team one was getting prepared to dive down to Jules Undersea Lodge and stay underwater for 24 hours and train to become certified Aquanauts. They took down two of the InvenTeam’s prototypes to test their air tight seal at the bottom of the lagoon.
Team one had planned a live interview over skype with Channel 10 News Thursday morning to discuss the goals of our trip and what we have done so far. When Breaking News occured channel 10 pushed the interview to Friday December 4th to do with team two instead.
Once team one had completed their Aquanaut certification they broke the surface with the camera housings in hand so that team two could put in the GoPros. Team two then, splashed down to train for their Aquanaut certification.
Team Two had went down into Jules’ Undersea Lodge on Thursday, December 3rd. They took down the camera systems but without the GoPros in them because of water leakage problem in the camera housings.
On Friday night both teams came together in one of the labs where we were staying to go over a presentation for our school board. While we were practicing, one of the scientists working at the marine lab was cleaning up his experiement, but we were interested and got talking! It turned out that there has been a problem involving the lionfish population down in the Keys for a long time, and our camera system could help a non-profit organization in Florida by monitoring the behavior and movements of the lionfish.