Sunday, July 29, 2012

Energy Inc.

On August 14th, Platypus will be showing the robots at Energy Inc. in Pittsburgh.  Event Info.  Come and visit our booth!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Location Scouting

On Monday the 23rd CMU’s Civil Engineering Department headed out bright and early on their annual water sampling trip, but this year they were accompanied by CRW team member Arnav who tagged along to assist and do some location scouting. The goal was to find some new places for the CRW team to go out testing with the air boats.

There were more than 10 stops over the whole day but after a strict inspection of all of the different locations Arnav identified 4 possible new locations for boat testing which were Dunkard Creek, Whiteley Creek, Ten Mile Creek and finally Redstone Creek.

The other 7 water treatment sites didn't fit the bill as they were not viable for boat launches which naturally is quite the setback when working with boats. Nevertheless the rest of the CRW team is looking forward to trying out these new locations!

Stay Tuned for more blogs to come on our testing in some of these new locations! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NACo Annual Conference and Exposition


Last Sunday the team packed up and headed out to Heinz field and set up a booth to participate in the 2012 National Association of Counties Annual Conference and Exposition. All kinds of people attended from several surrounding counties and states to check out all of the local start up businesses based in Pittsburgh that revolve around energy and technology solutions. 

It took the team two hours to get the pool inflated but eventually we did and the demonstrations started. Many people came to see the airboats and the afternoon was spent answering questions and making the boats manoeuvre around in the small blow up pool. 

All was going well and we could even hear Alice Cooper performing from next door at Stage AE when disaster struck and our team member Balajee fell into the pool. Luckily, as there was less than 3 feet of water the risk of drowning was minimal.

With Balajee recovered from his near death experience the day came to an end. The team packed up and pool was emptied all of over the area much to the relief of Balajee.

Stay tuned for more of the action within the CRW project!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lights, Camera, Airboat!

On Friday the 13th, the team was lucky enough to play host to the Science Channel who had taken notice of the work Platypus has been doing and decided to shoot an episode of "Through the Wormhole" on Paul, Platypus and the CRW project.

The Science Channel's show "Through the Wormhole" is narrated by Morgan Freeman and has been on Air since 2010, so the team was very excited to hear the news that Platypus would get to appear in an upcoming episode in the next season. As the day came around the team went out to Panther Hollow equipped with seven working and camera ready boats to do some demonstrations. The demonstrations went well especially the testing of the fail safe in which the boats where all the boats were simultaneously called back to a single point as well as the waypoint testing where the boats were sent in a lawn mower motion. Another improvement was the Led Acid batteries that were used lasted much longer when compared to the previously used Nickel–metal hydride battery.

The day was very successful although we encountered some slight problems with a few of the boats shutting down due to overheating and having some speed issues while instructing boats to avoid obstacles.

In addition to our original boats two out of the seven were part of a newly debuted generation and model of boats that are lighter and have a different shape of hull which produces less drag and cuts through the water more efficiently. 

The team displayed the boats ability to communicate with each other in order to explore large bodies of water as well as all of the basic functions.  The team shared the information and results that had been gathered as well as explaining and the usefulness and meaning of these results so people could obtain insight into how these airboats can be utilized for many different applications. Finally after 8 Hours of filming Paul was exhausted from being interviewed and the team was exhausted from watching him being interviewed.

Stay tuned for more blogs soon and,

Watch out for Platypus coming to a TV screen near you next Summer!