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USB over Ethernet and underwater vehicles

We love to receive case studies from our customers, moreover, if this case describes interesting usage scenario.

And today the list of cool case studies will be enriched with the case from Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi, mentor of Falcon Robotics Team.

USB over Ethernet and underwater vehicles

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi is a leader of Falcon Robotics Team, an extracurricular STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), organization that exposes students to real world problems that they have to learn to solve in a fun and exciting way. The world of robotics is the environment that they use to expose the students to these problems and they love it.

Industry: Scientific research.
Personal information: https://coachfredi.wixsite.com/lajvardi/about

Alex Taylor: What challenges made you search for the software of this kind?

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi: We are currently completing testing on an autonomous underwater vehicle or AUV for the Association For Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, AUVSI, RoboSub Competition that will be held in San Diego, California, July 16-22.

We are one of only two high schools in a field of universities from all around the world. Despite the fact that the vehicle is autonomous, we need to operate it remotely in order to develop the autonomous programs. The tether is a fiber optic cable with transceivers on both the AUV and on the surface. The communication between the operator and the AUV is via internet protocol. We needed to be able to tele operate the AUV over a “network” using a game controller over the remote desktop application. USB over Ethernet enables us to do so. Without your software we cannot operate the AUV with any type of HID device. It is essential for us to be able to have tele operation capabilities in order to test the thruster values that we need to get the AUV to go in the directions we want to test. It is also valuable to us to be able to test PID control of the AUV and testing the PID through the use of tele operation helps us to develop and adjust the PID values to get the proper values for the autonomous code. Your software will also enable us to retrieve the AUV with less human assistance, we could drive it back to where the operators are. This is especially useful when the AUV has gone deep and it is difficult to get students to go down after it.

Alex Taylor: How did you get to know about USB over Ethernet?

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi: The students searched on the internet for a product that could do what we needed and they found your software.

Alex Taylor: Did you try other products for the same task before choosing Electronic Team, Inc. solution? Why did you prefer our product?

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi: No we did not try other products because we could not find other products. It seems that it is not a very common problem, but one that is extremely important to us. The software allows us to develop the programming code we need to operate our AUV. You software does exactly what we wanted and we are completely satisfied with it.

Alex Taylor: Please, describe how you are using our product now.

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi: We are using the USB over Ethernet to adjust the trim of the AUV thrusters in the various vectors that we want to travel in. This is extremely difficult to do without tele operational capabilities. We can make the AUV go where the operator want it to co by adjusting the values given to each thruster to make up for any inefficient electrical or design issues that cause the AUV to drift in any undesired direction. The tele operation allows us to see what these inefficiencies are and we can test the new values quickly. This ability saves tremendous amounts of time in programming. The software in essence allows us to bring a human perception into the equation, allowing for quicker and more precise evaluation of the AUVs performance so that accurate autonomous code could be written. Getting all this accomplished allowed us to get proper PID values and to be able to adjust the values by testing them first in tele operation mode before implementing the PID values on the autonomous code. This allowed us to test more quickly and effectively as well as more safe.

Another use for the software is to retrieve the AUV from the depths in water by driving it back to where the operators are on the surface. We don’t want to send a student down for and it because it can be dangerous and it saves us from having to pull on the fiber optic tether that we use during testing. This ability to pilot the AUV is a huge safety advantage, component saving advantage and time saving advantage.

Alex Taylor: How did you benefit from using USB over Ethernet?

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi: USB over Ethernet allowed us to work out any inefficiencies that existed on the AUV that prevented us from driving in the specific directions that we desired. It helped us to develop the proper PID values so that the AUV goes exactly where its supposed to go, and it helped us to keep the students safe when retrieving the AUV from great depths in the lakes and deep pools we have been testing in.