The Challenge: Connectors for purpose built ROVs at California based High School.
With the organisers of MATE International ROV Competition putting pressure on teams competing to create smaller ROVs year-on-year, Jesuit Robotics team of Sacramento, California, USA, needed smaller connectors that would be waterproof, robust and reliable yet allowed easy assembly and disconnection. Not only that but the ROV then needed to be more modular as a result and it was imperative that the gigabit connection between the ROV and topside computers and monitors was preserved.
The MATE international ROV competition challenges students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to carry out missions simulating scenarios found in real world underwater environments. It challenges students to learn and creatively apply STEM skills and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Since 2018, Jesuit High School was on the look-out for the most reliable, robust connectors for their underwater ROV and started to use the Bulgin 400 Mini Series Connector.
“With 2017 we didn’t really have a good modular connector solution that was small and cost effective so that’s why we’ve looked out and chosen Bulgin for 2018 and that’s been part of our product that’s shrunken the size of the ROV” said Michael Equi, CTO of Jesuit Robotics
As the brief pushes teams to be able to monitor more efficiently, this resulted in applying more autonomous features. Ultimately this required better video capabilities, which meant that better digital and video systems were implemented. These connections required a lot of bandwidth and in particular Ethernet bandwidth.
It became apparent that it was imperative to use Bulgin connectors, to secure and withhold underwater connections and modularity whilst still having a gigabit connection between the ROV and the topside computers and monitors.
Really, they provided something that we couldn’t find on other products
Ultimately, the use of Bulgin’s connector in Jesuit Robotics ROV helped achieve a smaller ROV as well as making it more modular whilst still retaining a gigabit connection between the ROV and the computers and monitors topside. “Really, they provided something that we couldn’t find on other products” said Caelin Sutch, CEO of Jesuit Robotics
In the competition, the team finished third place Explorer Overall Champions, Explorer Technical Documentation Champion and second place Inaugural Microsoft Azure ROV Machine Learning Challenge.
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