Scubo: Underwater Omnidirectional Robot for Scanning Coral Reefs
In addition to its main purpose of scanning and mapping coral reefs, the robot also contains stereo cameras for telecasting direct to VR headsets for real-time underwater experiences! (And to think this is an undergrad project at an engineering university – wow!)
The outer dimensions of Scubo are 75 x 35 x 32 cm. With a total weight of 25 kg, the system is roughly neutrally buoyed and weight in the form of screws can be added to the thruster arms to adjust buoyancy and the center of gravity. Two metal tubes on the top and two on the bottom enable easy lifting and placing on the ground.
Six webcams are mounted around the robot, one facing in each direction. The stereo camera is positioned at the bottom front and has a slight angle downwards in order to examine objects in front of the robot and on the sea floor, estimate distances and perform mapping. Two lights mounted to the aluminum hatches illuminate the main direction without lighting water and floating particles directly in front of the cameras to avoid image disturbance.