Maelstrom was the first of Vortex' drones, and was a great learning experience from the team.
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.