Build of a low-cost prototype ROV for search and rescue

Takyi, Jeremiah Paul Konadu
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Aquatic search and rescue in Ghana and most parts of the world poses lots of disadvantages to the rescuers. Divers being tasked for each search and rescue mission risk their lives trying to locate a body or an object underwater. Sometimes, these divers are attacked by aquatic animals or even hit by submersible objects. This approach is also problematic since divers are not able to stay longer under water due to fixed oxygen tanks. This limits their search periods as they ought to resurface to fill their tanks. Solutions to curb this problem have been brought to light by building a submersible that moves through water to search while the diver stays comfortably above the water with a hand-held controller. The only problem to this solution is that it is highly expensive, and the submersible normally becomes unstable after grabbing unto an object. Other solutions also involve using smart animals to search but still require the diver to go within the water to retrieve whatever thing it is. This project seeks to prevent all these unforeseen dangers that might possibly occur to the diver by building a submersible at a lower cost. This design also sought to solve the issue of instability via a mechanical redesign. To control the submersible, the user uses a friendly hand-held controller with simple knobs and an on-board screen which receives live feed from the vehicle. The submersible was designed to carry a payload of 500g and reach a depth of 1.5m. From test simulations, it should be able to withstand external pressures at that depth. Due to project constraints, only a portion of the mechanical and electronic system could be built. This prototype design will serve as the basis for a full-scale version which promises to be cheaper and be able to lift and resurface heavier payloads depending on the materials used in constructing it
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, May 2020
submersible, aquatic search and rescue, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), robots