March 2021 Newsletter

Posted by Rozia Zafar on March 8, 2021

We are quickly approaching the one-year mark of this pandemic, modifying almost every aspect of our daily lives. We wish all of our members and readers the best moving forward; while it may be another nine months until normalcy returns, the end is on the horizon. To regain some semblance of regularity for the team, we continue to push for a workspace on campus to encourage the construction of Arctos. Also, it will be nice to see another person's face again, even if it is behind a mask.

February tends to be a slow month for the team, historically speaking. Midterms are everywhere; 'Tis the season. The only reprieve is a Reading Week; this year's being much-needed and well-deserved.

We are making the best use of our time. The financial team is searching for new avenues of funding through grants and sponsorships to continue our activities. If you would like to support our team, you can donate to or contact us through our website:

Lastly, we would like to thank former Mechanical Team Co-Lead Adesh Sangione for hosting a Resume and LinkedIn seminar on February 4th. 

With most of the team in attendance, Adesh shared his experience navigating the arduous journey to land a career in your field. He focused predominantly on connecting with recruiters, effectively composing your cover letter and resume, and ace the interview once you get it. (Author's Note: His advice works!) Individuals early into their academic careers found this seminar particularly useful.

Mechanical Updates

The mechanical team has made significant progress in their projects. With such a large workforce, they can tackle many tasks asynchronously. All of the servos are waterproofed, a much-needed feature on an underwater vehicle. Additionally, an enclosure for the bottom enclosure is modelled and ready to be manufactured. The submersibles balancing system has been a primary focus for the team over the past few months, and the team can move forward on the current conceptual design. The cooling system requires some modifications from the mechanical capstone team's design; the team implements changes as we write. The torpedoes and claw subsystems have required the most amount of work due to their complexity, but we hope to have the final details ironed out in the upcoming month. 

Software Updates

After successfully importing the RMclaw into MoveIT, the Software Team can now change and define different poses without weird collisions. Moving forward, they are looking into building a kinematics controller to plan the claw’s motions. Regarding the Gazebo simulator, the team continues to tackle issues with the planner while shifting the focus to adding new features. For example, the team added new moveable buoys, improving the anchoring to the pool floor. Similarly, they are working on incorporating torpedo targets and droppers. Additionally, a tandem robot is now in the research phase.

Electrical Updates

The Electrical Team has continued to make improvements for Arctos' electrical system in the past month. Torpedo components have undergone a redesign, mainly removing old drivers, deciding on new RGB connector replacements, and general schematic developments. The actuation board firmware has been completed and approved, finalizing the battery monitoring boards' electrical schematics. For future tasks, the Electrical Team will develop some new and exciting projects for the potential second robot.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain.


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