Far Eastern Federal
by Kevin Berry
The Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU)
student team won the world championship in
remotely operated vehicles at the recent 2012
MATE International ROV competition which was
held in Orlando, FL.
The FEFU team — which goes by the name
Primorye Coast — competed with more than
20 teams from different countries including the
USA, China, India, Great Britain, Egypt, and others.
FEFU students have been taking part in these
competitions since 2008. The team won first place for the first time in 2010. Primorye Coast
consists of students with different specialties — from computer security to medical physics
and interior design.
This year, the theme of the competition was the research of sunken World War II vessels.
For the participants, there was a simulated event in which the fuel materials of the sunken
vessels were an environmental threat that had to be neutralized. The teams were challenged
with the development of methods for a secure fuel extraction.
The “Primorye Coast” company prepared a
technical paper as part of the required submittal
for the competition. This article summarizes that
paper, with some editorial comments and
rewrites to make the (over) 5,000 word
document flow in this condensed format.
40 SERVO 09.2012
The ROV has six powerful thrusters that can provide a steady position while working with a variety of devices,
or making video captures with four cameras. A special
payload was installed on the vehicle, including a tank
flushing device, a measuring tape for the determination of
the ship’s length, a metal detector to search for the debris
of the vessel, a holder for the magnetic patches, and a
manipulator for attaching the lift bag to the mast and also
Total expense for the development of the vehicle was
$10,420, while the total project cost — taking into account
the materials and the cost of travel — was $40,133.
Initial Design Concepts
While developing the vehicle, the team decided to create
something new — something not like their previous vehicles
or industrial models, but capable to perform mission tasks.
They began with a classic brainstorming session. All
team members became vehicle designers for a while. Team
members proposed dozens of ideas and sketches (Figure 1).
Sometimes heated discussions were held. “Will it float at
all?” “How would it stand on the ground?” “Should the
center of masses really be here?” and other more specialized
questions were asked. The two best designs were simulated
with Solid Works. The final choice is shown in Figure 2. The
team notes that at this point, the most difficult task was still
ahead: proving their design to their teachers and mentors.
This design — a new concept unlike others the teachers were
familiar with — had to be shown to be suitable for mission
tasks. The mentors actually did not accept the design at first.
After more dynamic discussions, all parties came to a
compromise in details (but defended their initial concept).
The basis of the vehicle’s design is the frame (Figure 3).