There’s an ORCA in my livingroom!

More posts to come in a couple of days–need to announce winners of name that ware and throw up a new ware–but in the meantime, more fun stuff to talk about.

Last month I had the priviledge of hosting the MIT ORCA team at my place–and at the complex’s swimming pool–for an evening while they worked on debugging their autonomous underwater submarine. Their machine is a fine piece of engineering, I think–it has come a long way. I used to be on the MIT ORCA team for the first five or so years, and they are now on their 9th year. Check it out:

Yep, just about everything you see in there is custom-built, cut, or welded–probably the only stock part is the PC104 core as far as I can tell. A pretty impressive amount of electronics in a tiny space. They even have flashing blue running lights that look pretty snazzy, and they have a neat little waterproofed wifi dongle that they float on the water surface that they use for debugging the unit with a shore box while it is submerged. And yes, it is still running linux.

7 Responses to “There’s an ORCA in my livingroom!”

  1. JR says:

    How does one gets started building custom hardware projects (simpler than this whale)?
    Is there any book that would introduce me in hardware designing and builting?
    (like so many “for dummies” books on software)

    Truth is: i’m in the last semester of computer engineering course but my only experience with hardware is vhdl and fpga… I want to get my hands dirty..
    enlighten me please!

    Is there any picture of this device on water ?

  2. Flipflap says:

    I love those red deans connectors. Small lightweight and great performance.

  3. […] I was at FOO camp last weekend and it was a blast. As usual, Tim brought together quite an interesting crowd of people. It was a pleasant surprise to see old friends from MIT, some whom I hadn’t seen in years. To date, four FOO alumni worked on the same robotics team (ORCA) building autonomous submarines at MIT back when we were all students there, and at least three students/ra’s of my MIT graduate advisor, Tom Knight, have also attended FOO (and oh what a diverse group of three that is!). Of course, I got to meet some interesting new people, including a group of folks who have expertise and great interest in manufacturing in China (we had a little round table discussion about doing business in China and China’s economic role in the world). I also gave a little presentation about how chumbys are made in China, something which I will blog about in the next couple of days through a set of posts forthcoming (I have a lot of material to go through so it’s taking me a while to organize them and write them). […]

  4. Why not try a Trackstick for this?

  5. togStoria says:

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  6. garry says:

    I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

  7. Schedule says:

    Best you could change the webpage name There’s an ORCA in my livingroom! bunnie's blog to more better for your webpage you create. I enjoyed the post however.