Têtard (2006-2007)

One of the best uses for robots is to explore places where humans cannot go. Têtard was an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), built from scratch by our team at the University of Nice.

During my first term in 2006, I was responsible for creating a data server that housed and served timestamped or interpolated data from sensors such as sonar, gyroscopes, and videocamera. With such a large team (14 people!) it was essential that all of the submodules could query the state of the robot’s sensors at any time.

I then returned to France in 2007 to work in signal processing. In order for the robot to navigate towards and around objects in the water, I wrote a PID vision-based control loop based on the camera stream.

Thanks to this robotics project, I learned what goes into a robot, from top (localization and mapping, autonomous decision-making and planning) to bottom (microcontrollers and CAD drawings). I also designed the team’s logo, website, brochure to recruit sponsors. Our final goal was to participate in the SAUC-E european AUV competition in England.

This was my first robotics project from more than 6 years ago, and I learned a lot!

You can read more about the competition here. The fun yet hard work was also captured in this amateur video.