Surface Side Control System

The surface side control system is the environment that the pilots use to control the robot and receive sensor data. For our primary controls, we use an Xbox controller and a standard laptop keyboard. These are connected, along with a battery, to the robot through the tether, which runs down below the water to connect with the robot via a SeaCon connector. We can control the speed and direction of the robot, as well as moving the cameras and the arm. The robot then sends sensor data and camera feeds back up the tether to be displayed on laptops and external monitors (we usually have more than one camera feed to display at a time).

On the laptop, we have a special program running which receives commands from our controller and turns them into signals the robot can understand. It also displays one of the camera feeds on a special Graphical User Interface (GUI) along with compass heading, roll/pitch indicator, and other sensor data. Our latest robot, Koi, has a full onboard PC which we can now run the program from. This way, we simply interface with the PC using a remote desktop program and run the program that way. This has the advantage of allowing us to simplify our wiring and reduce traffic over the tether.