Thanks to student input and field testing there have been some substantial revisions to the Sea Hawk endoskeleton. This meets our goal of having stakeholder involvement in the development of this robotics program "of the people, by the people, for the people."
In particular we have seen a lot of parent-advisor involvement in the development of this program, which is a dream come true for those of us in the teaching profession. In terms of Sea Hawk design we appreciate the contributions of Venice High School Robotics Club parent adviser Annette Mercer who suggested, among other things, the use of an easy to obtain tangerine mesh bag to hold the wing bottle floats and zip tie them to the endoskeleton, and the contributions of Washington Preparatory High School Robotics Club parent adviser Roy Harper who suggested, among other things, the use of a gallon milk jug in place of the three water bottles we were using for the front floatation of the craft because of its appropriate volume and the ease with which it attaches to the endoskeleton with a zip tie. Naturally the students and teachers themselves had many great suggestions for improving the robo-boat. The collaborative process for innovating simple but effective improvements through involvement and engagement by parents, students and teachers, is one of the hard to quantify yet most important results of a program designed not for but along with the end users of a STEM curriculum.
On this page you will find photographs and 3D diagrams and a new tutorial on how to build the Sea Hawk.
First, the 3D images:
Note one more revision that is not in the images above -- a downward facing T placed on the bottom of the bow brace at the bottom next to the elbow. This serves as a mounting point for a castor or wheel (without a motor) that will keep the Sea Hawk the same height above ground when you do put motorized wheels on the rear downward facing Tees, and will enable the craft to be driven around the classroom.
Here are some pictures to help you translate the 3D images into the real world:
Additional wing and motor support
|The wing configuration was changed to have extra support for the bottles and is now connected to the main frame so that the motors have more stability.|
Use of milk gallon jug for stern flotation
Use of fruit/vegetable mesh bag to hold port and starboard wing flotation bottles and zip tie them to craft.
Use of LA Robotics Club Ardbot classroom vehicle for testing of code to be used on Sea Hawk
Use of zip ties for portability and quick dissaembly/assembly
|One hand holds the Sea Hawk, the other a bag with the laptop in it that will control the craft.|
|Here the craft is ready to go in the water. It is piloted from the keyboard of the laptop using an Xbee. The rope in the picture is merely to be able to recover the craft in the event of a battery or other electronic failure.|
|The setup ready to go.|
|The craft is launched in the water and steered using the game control keys on the keyboard.|
|The craft on its way, heading out to sea. Note this craft has no sensors because we hadn't worked out the best way to waterproof the sensors on this day.|
|The teacher pilots the craft from the laptop while walking around (operating distance turned out to be more than 50 meters) as his son maintains the tow rope in case there is a problem.|
Benefits of real world testing
One of the nice things about taking out a roboboat into public space for testing is that kids and their families quickly get involved and the testing day turns out to be an outreach/educational opportunity.
At Balboa Park on a Sunday many kids got interested in the project, like these young visitors from Atlanta, Georgia who were seeing relatives in L.A. They helped with the tests and asked if they could implement PORPOISE in their own schools when they got home.
|One of the young people, and his mom, at the park who volunteered to help with the test.|
|The boy's cousin decides robotics are fun too!|