Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preliminary preparation for the Philippines

The CMU airboats will be deployed in flood waters where they will collect important information. The onboard camera can feed back images that will show the operator where dangers exist in the water and possibly even where survivors are.

There is a saying in Robotics: “Whenever you go to test in a new field everything breaks”.

Therefore, no matter how many times we can get the boats to work in a lake / pool in the US we can never be sure that they will work in a flood zone until we actually test them there. That is why three of us at CMU will be heading over to the Philippines at the beginning of September to see if the boats cope with a new environment. The Philippines gets great monsoonal rain every year so, chances are, we will be caught in some sort of flood whilst we are there.

World wind maps strike again

As I have previously discussed in this blog, we are using Worldwind Maps to navigate the boats. These maps, like all maps, are not without faults and have once again delivered some fantastic results. Here is our test site in the Philippines shown on Google Maps:
Victoria, Philippines shown on Google Maps

Above: Victoria, Philippines shown on Google Map

And here is the same location shown with Worldwind maps:
Above: Victoria, Philippines shown on World Wind Maps

As you can see it must have been pretty cloudy the day Mr World Wind took his photos. Hopefully we can remedy this problem before we leave.

Keep up-to-date with the Philippines on this blog. We promise a few posts whilst we are there.

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