Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So the first day went pretty well.

Well, we are done with the first day of testing. What a day!

Firstly we were panicking because an important piece of the shroud (the spinning thingy at the back of the boat) was missing.

A trip to the hardware store, 6' of plastic, some cutting and a rough drill job later we had a new motor cover:

"Did we really need this much plastic?"

"What am I going to do with this?"

"This is reasonable."
After the boats were all ready we hit the road. We were to be testing in a place called San Roque, Laguna. 4 members of the University of Philippines Computer Science department were to join us. They were very interested in the boats and were keen to understand how they worked.

As a formality we were advised to meet the local Baranguay Captain (head of the local government) to introduce ourselves and explain our intentions.

Showing the captain the boats

Not only was he happy to allow us to test in his domain but he insisted on seeing the boats working. Right away.

We headed to the lake with the Baranguay Captain leading us. He walked up to a house that he knew and, moments later, they had given us permission to use the jetty out the back of their house to launch the boats.

We were to test in Barangay San Roque, Victoria:

Back in Pittsburgh we had been using a generator and a large battery to operate the boats from. Planning for this trip we had hoped to be able to hire one or, if not, just buy a generator that we could use. The Philippines works a little bit differently. Instead of doing that we just rented power from a local household. We had not even thought of this in the planning stage.

Now our entourage reached about 20 people. They were all very eager to see the boats in the water.

To cut a long story short, the first boat test was a great success despite waves many times bigger than we had experienced in Pittsburgh. There are some photos and videos below.

Getting ready to launch.

Yay! It is working!

Hey, don't go too close to that big boat!

This is magical.

It is rescue time.

 Stay tuned for more posts from the Philippines.

UPDATE: Extensive searches back at CMU have failed to uncover the missing pieces. It seems that they were removed from the boxes by the TSA. Whether this was by accident of for security reasons remains to be seen. 

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