Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Under The Bridge Obstacle Course

It had been a couple of weeks since AMOS's last trip on the river, and I was wondering if it would be possible to capture some good video from the deck of a bridge while AMOS traveled underneath, so on Sunday I brought the boat down to the boat launch at Carleton Park and set it on a course that would meander around the Bill Thorpe walking bridge for a while before heading back to Carleton Park. I enabled the LiDAR module for "obstacle avoidance" mode, in order to make sure that the boat did not crash into any of the large concrete pilings. I also brought the kayak in case anything went wrong, and paddled ahead of AMOS to the bridge, stowed the boat in some bushes, and then climbed up to the deck of the bridge to start filming.

The wind was coming out of the north at a about 13 km/h and the current was relatively strong, so AMOS arrived at the bridge quickly, but overshot a little bit and passed underneath before it was supposed to. Thereafter it fought gamely against the wind and current to get back on course, but tended to either (i) move backwards a bit during strong gusts or (ii) encounter a bridge piling obstacle, which resulted in the boat changing course to avoid the collision. The software navigation algorithm moves on to the next waypoint if it detects that the boat is either losing ground or has surpassed a particular waypoint, so the net result didn't actually turn out too bad. In the image below, the yellow path corresponds to the intended route, while the white is the actual route:

Although the weather was overcast and slightly rainy, AMOS still managed to last nearly 2.5 hours before it shut itself down to re-charge, just about 50 m from the planned destination!

Here is a collection of some of the images and video that I took, as well as some of the images that AMOS took with its camera:

Last but not least, here is the depth and temperature data:



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