The newly started student organization Vortex`s first ever project was the Maelstrom. It took 6000 man-hours and a cost of 16200 USD to complete the Maelstrom. The ROV was built up with many different components and had a square design. It was made up of thrusters and connectors which was pressure rated to 1000 meters and the waterproof tailor-made electronics was made of aluminum. Due to that the control system was written in ROS, the Maelstrom was highly modular as well as language-agnostic. The manipulator arm was placed in front of the ROV which had three degrees of freedom.
With the Maelstrom complete, Vortex participated in the tasks given out by NASA and Oceaneering Space Systems (OSS). Out of 31 teams, vortex ended up on 16th place. In the technical department of the tasks vortex placed 10th, but in the score sheet of marked Vortex placed last because of no earlier experience. It was a decent performance by the team and with the experience gained and the lessons learned provided the team with a ambition to compete for top contender in the coming years.
Terrapin is Vortex's second ROV. The name comes from its resemble of the terrapin, a freshwater turtle. This drone took just as much time to develop and create as its predecessor, but was more cost efficient as 9000 USD was spent to build this brand new ROV, significantly less than Maelstorm.
This ROV improved its control and navigation compared to Maelstrom by increasing its amount of thrusters to eight and more than doubled its amount of cameras to seven. The drone also improved aesthetically by having the transparent cover that gives it the resemblence of a terrapin.
Manta started its life in 2018 as a ROV, but in 2019 it was converted to an AUV. This marked a shift of focus for the organization from remote controlled drones to autonomous drones. It also meant that we would not compete in the MATE ROV competition anymore. We would now compete in the RoboSub AUV competition. The drone got great remarks for its design at RoboSub 2019 in San Diego, but it unfortunately had some work that needed to be done on the software side of things. The experiences that were made at the competition paved the way for greatness in 2020, but unfortunately the Covid19 pandemic made it impossible to compete physically. In the autumn of 2020 it was decided to let Manta retire from competitions, and rather be converted to a ROV again to be used for learning purposes.