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Connor Novak edited this page Oct 7, 2017 · 22 revisions

ORCAS: Olin Robotic Collaborative Autonomous Submersibles


ORCAS is an undergraduate research team within the Olin Robotics Lab working on designing, manufacturing, and maintaining a fleet of autonomous submersible platforms for use in a variety of applications. We aim to give all of our platforms autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance, as well as more mission-specific capabilities and hardware dependent on current lab projects. Another goal is to create collaboration ability between submersibles and, possibly, between a submersible and another class of vehicle (land, air, etc) to allow greater customization of robotic tools per mission. Some students are gaining skills through this research to enable them to compete in the RoboSub Competition.

If you want to see the statuses of the platforms, visit the Water Vehicles tab of the Olin Robolab Platform Statuses Table.For more information, continue browsing this wiki, or contact project leaders Christina Segar at or Connor Novak at

Table of Contents

  1. General
  • Troubleshooting: A page detailing a possible structure for troubleshooting, as well as bug fixes for problems encountered by the team so far. (documentation)
  • Design: Pages detailing design principles, practices, and ideas for designing and building submersibles. (ideas) (instructions)
  • Documenting: A page detailing documentation structure and providing useful information on Markdown. (documentation)
  • Soldering: A good intro to soldering tutorial for a brush-up on technique. (link)
  1. Platforms
  • Remus 100: A research-grade submersible currently undergoing construction. (reference) (documentation)
  • Sandwich Sub: An ROV prototyping platform built as a proof of concept during the 2016-2017 school year. (documentation)
  • Pluto: A small ROV platform for basic electronics built during the 2017 summer. (documentation)
  • Mercury: A theoretical small ROV/AUV test platform for full implementation of OAK design structure. (documentation)
  • Neptune:
  • Uranus: A planet (reference)
  1. Software
  2. Electronics
  • LPB Poolcam: A camera suspended above the testing pool in the Large Project Building. (reference) (documentation)
  • XBee Radios: A suite of small microcontroller-compatible radios capable of penetrating water. (reference) (documentation)
  • Arduino Uno: A popular microcontroller prototyping board used for basic sub brains. (reference)
  • Ruggeduino: A more rugged version of the Arduino Uno used for final version of basic sub brains. (reference)
  • Arduino Teensy 3.6: A powerful Arduino microcontroller capable of running ROS, used for more OAK-compatible sub brains. (reference)
  • RCABS Ballast System: A pump-and-valve system for controlling the operating depth of a submersible. (reference) (documentation)

Connor Novak last edited on 10/07/17.

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