RoboSub 2020


The VTec U-III is the third submarine prototype designed by VantTec, created to participate for the first time in the RoboSub competition. This unmanned underwater vehicle is made out of lightweight materials, and includes mechanical add-ons such as a robotic arm, a marker dropper, and a torpedo launcher. The VTec U-III has automatic control in surge, sway, heave and yaw motions, as well as path-following control capabilities using local coordinates and odometry. In addition, the VTec U-III is equipped with perception sensors for obstacle detection using computer vision, and sound signal following using a hydrophone array.


  • Lightweight Aluminum 6061 structure.

  • Arm gripper system for object manipulation.

  • Shooting system for torpedo launching.

  • Manual and automatic control of the UUV.

  • Marker dropper system. 

  • 6 thrusters to control surge, sway, heave and yaw. 

  • Front stereo camera for object detection.

 Tech Specs

  • Mechanical

    • Length: 0.45 m

    • Beam: 0.70 m

    • Mass: 18.74 kg

    • Maximum Thrust:

      • Surge: +-100N

      • Sway:  +-100N

      • Heave:  +-70N

      • Yaw:    +-100N

  • Software

    • ROS Architecture for CPU Software (C++)

    • FreeRTOS for ECU Firmware (Embedded C)

  • Connectivity

    • CAN Bus 2.0b CPU-ECU communication
    • TCP/IP Ethernet Vehicle-Ground Station Communication
  • Components

    • Power
      • Zippy Li-Ion 11.1V @8Ah
      • Blue Robotics Li-4S 14.8V @18Ah
    • Control Units
      • NVIDIA Jetson TX2 with ConnectTech Quasar Carrier CPU
      • STM32F103C8T6 ECU
    • Sensors
      • VectorNav VN-200 IMU
      • ZED Mini Stereo Camera (Front-facing)
      • Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 (Bottom-facing)
      • Blue Robotics SOS Leak Sensor
      • Bar30 High-Resolution 300m Depth/Pressure Sensor
      • Teledyne RESON TC-4013 Hydrophone (main)
      • 2x Aquarian H1C Hydrophones (secondary)
    • Actuators
      • 6x Blue Robotics T200 Thrusters
      • 2x HS-5086WP Waterproof Servo for Arm and Gripper Subsystem
      • 3x Linear Actuator for Marker Dropper and Torpedo Launcher

System Diagrams

Hardware Architecture

Software Architecture


Other Resources

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