Hydrobots: Building an underwater robot. Creative Commons, Attribution + Noncommercial (BY-NC)
Authors: Eugenides Foundation
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This challenge introduces students to the wonders of underwater robotics. Students are invited to build an underwater robot and a propulsion system, to develop a controller, and investigate weight and buoyancy. This challenge teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering concepts. The challenge is based on the SeaPearch program developed by MIT Professors Thomas Consi & Chris Chryssostomides, this activity is inspired by the book "How to Build an Underwater Robot," by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen. The program is currently managed by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation (AUVSIF).
Knowledge acquisition gain
  Skills: Introduction of the world of design process and on how engineers work / encourage problem-solving skills / practical application of science and math in engineering / developing critical thinking / support teamwork, motivation, troubleshooting and learning from failure / understanding of the materials and their role in the engineering process / Learning by doing. Science concepts: Floating / mass / volume / density / weight / stability / balanced forces / buoyancy / electric circuits

STEM careers and labor market

There are numerous scientific, engineering technological elements which are involved in the development of Hydrobots. Some of them are the following:

• Electrical Engineering: Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of the principles of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. The invention of the transistor and the integrated circuit, made electronics cheap enough so that they can be used in almost every household object.

• Mechanical engineering: the engineering discipline which applies the principles of engineering, physics and mathematics for designing analyzing manufacturing and maintaining mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers create machines used in manufacturing, mechanical components of electronics, engines and power-generating equipment, vehicles and their components, artificial components for the human body, and many other products.

• Ocean (Marine) engineering: the branch of engineering study that deals with the design and operations of manmade systems in the ocean and other marine environments. Ocean engineering includes the engineering of boats, ships, oil rigs and any other marine vessel or structure. Ocean engineers apply their engineering (mechanical, electrical, electronic engineering) and scientific knowledge in order to design and develop systems and structures in marine environments. An ideal ocean engineer has to achieve a proper tandem between the marine eco-system and the developed human world.

• Computer engineering: the discipline that integrates electrical and electronic engineering and computer science in order to design and develop hardware, software, computer systems and other technological devices. Computer engineers embed computers in other machines and systems, build networks to transfer data and develop ways to make computers faster and smaller. Furthermore, computer engineers have expertise in a variety of areas such as software design and coding and are trained to design software and perform and integrate that software with hardware components.

  480 min
Number of staff
Science Discipline
Education Level
12-15 years
Installation effort
No installation required on typical computer
Knowledge prerequisites
Classroom use
Supervision required
Teacher supervision required
Technical requirements
You'll need to buy some materials

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