RiverBot(TM): Making the World a Better Place With Tech

RiverBot(TM) Progress / 78%

RiverBot(TM) is the name of a community designed and built autonomous underwater robot that is capable of operating in water up to 15 meters deep. This is the first of several robots we will be building.
Since we have filed for the RiverBot trademark, the correct way to refer to RiverBot is to add the (TM): RiverBot(TM)
Community meetings are held at 6:30 PM every Monday at our TrepHub location. The RiverBot project page contains the design documents and hardware information. It is hosted here
A couple of points:

  • We chose to set RiverBot(TM)'s operating depth target to 15 meters, because our current and immediate future operating areas are between 1 and 10 meters deep. In addition, a lot of the pollutants and debris we want to eventually capture and remove typically float between the surface and a depth of about 18 meters
  • The software will be hosted on GitHub, initially in private repositories
  • RiverBot(TM) payload bays are designed to accept sensor kits. The kit description documents will be published on the project website, allowing students, advanced users and professionals to create their own payloads, and deliver them to the Cura Oceanus team for integration. Some kits will be made available as teaching tools for STEM classes
  • RiverBot(TM)'s mission planning software is based on AUV Workbench. Payload owners will be required to provide the mission planning team with objectives and mission criteria. The Cura Oceanus mission planners can then combine payload objectives with operational constraints and generate a plan for RiverBot(TM)

Working with RiverBot(TM)

RiverBot(TM) is a mission-configurable AUV. Simply put, you tell us what you want the RiverBot(TM) to study or explore and we come up with the combination of hull, power and propulsion. If you have your own sensors, we can help you integrate them into our payload. If you don’t have sensors, we can either help you buy the ones you need, or use our own and set up a data agreement. Please direct your RiverBot mission and configuration questions to riverboat at cure oceanus dot org
We won’t charge local K-12 schools and homeschoolers to run a mission, but we may have to request support for transportation and accommodation if we have to travel. In some cases, we may have secure a grant if a school has a very elaborate or expensive sensor configuration.

A photo history of RiverBot(TM):

Prototype #1:

This prototype helped us understand platform motion, buoyancy, stability and payload enclosures.

The prototype was built around Pelican cases – testing revealed that the cases could not reliably go deeper than 3 meters

The prototype uses bilge pumps as thrusters to turn and control pitch. An arrangement of 4 bow thrusters control pitch and yaw.These turned out to be prohibitively expensive to our power budget.

RiverBot(TM) Mark I

The Mark I RiverBot(TM) is the first design we will be operating with community science experiments on board. The payload bays along the sides can accommodate an 8x6x4 form factor. We’ve tested the AH864 enclosures made by Attabox and are comfortable recommending them our community to use for missions as deep as 15 meters (based on our testing, but NOT endorsed by the manufacturer).

Our 3D modeling expert is a STEM student from a local high school. He has put a large amount of effort into each design iteration.

This is an internal view of the submersible, which is about 2 meters long

RiverBot internal

An external view of the RiverBot(TM)

RiverBot in livery

The RiverBot(TM) build team in action:

RiverBot build team

Nick has run a couple fluid simulations on the latest shape. It looks promising

You can support our project by donating using the Paypal link below, or contact us if you wish to donate in-kind.