Introduction: PiniSEA - an Autonomous Ocean Boat - Sea Tracker

The green autonomous water vehicle to track the ocean. Mechanically inspired by "Wave Glider" and has the main purpose to track the fishing spot. It also can use to measure environment condition on the ocean (sea level, temperature, humidity, etc). This project is started since Intel IoT Roadshow Hackathon in Berlin.

To track the fishing spot, we use sonar to scan the ground below sea surface. Using many sensors to measure the climate around this boat, we can tell user the condition of the sea. Fisherman simply knows whether it is a good day for fishing or to stay with the family. This boat has two different parts which are connected together. Top side and bottom side. Top side will measure climate of environment and there are also solar cell to keep the boat flowing. Bottom side will fly underwater and navigate this boat using flaps that are controlled by servo. This boat exploits the energy of wave with measuring the differences between water flow on the surface flow in the water.

This instructables will show you prototyping steps that we have been through in the IoT Roadshow.

Things that we use :

  • Intel Edison + Breakout Kit + Base Shield
  • Accelerometer
  • Motor stepper
  • GPS
  • Styrofoam to model the boat
  • And some additional sensors

Our goal :

  • Make fisherman easier to know the fishing spot. This boat is an autonomous boat and we want this boat to be our informant located on the sea/ocean for a long time.
  • Give the sea condition before fisherman going to catch the fish.
  • Probably could be extended as an early warning system for tsunami.

Step 1: Boat Prototype

We use styrofoam to model the boat. It is about 60 x 30 cm and shape it like a boat (use your imagination how the boat looks like). Because we are inspired by wave glider mechanism, we only use a single fin below our boat that can be rotated with respect to the flow of water. We use aluminium sheet to model the fin.

Step 2: Moving Mechanism

In moving mechanism, we use motor stepper. We actually wanted to use motor servo rather than motor stepper, but in the roadshow, they only provide motor stepper.

This motor stepper is placed in the very bottom side of the boat and in the middle of the fin. To control the boat, we calculate the difference between pressure on the sea surface and the pressure below sea surface. After all, we got the direction and velocity with the function of rotation of the fin.

In the roadshow, we simulated those mechanism using accelerometer by monitoring whether there is a huge change in the z-axis or not.

Step 3: Sensors Integration

We intended to supply our boat with the solar cell as power source, therefore we also implement light sensor to determine the state between charging state and not charging state.

Beside using accelerometer to simulate the boat movement. Accelerometer could also be use to support the moving mechanism and measure wave height wherever it is needed. We put accelerometer as well as light sensor on top of the boat.

To know the position of the boat, we also integrate GPS modul in our boat.

Step 4: Intel Edison + Breakout Kit + Base Shield

Intel Edison is really powerful to build Internet of Things systems. It has low power consumption and really easy for prototyping.

We are looking forward for someone who want to support our projects, since this project will take a lot of cost in the research and implementation.