The illustration above depicts the original conception of Shadow - a small, autonomous robot
that would follow and film an octopus for several days before returning
to the surface for scientists to collect the video data.
Shadow is being designed and built for the Octopus Project as a joint effort by
student research teams
in the Marine Biology Program (Alaska Pacific University, APU),
the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department (AME, University of Arizona), and
at the Colorado School of Mines.
The third generation Shadow prototype (2001-2003), right, will operate in two
modes: as a tethered, self-powered, semi-autonomous UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle)
or as a fully autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). In semi-autonomous mode, Shadow III
will track the target animal and control depth; while a user at the surface will handle
obstacle avoidance and navigation via a video link. Shadow III will be tested as a UUV
during Spring and Summer 2003. As a AUV, Shadow III will also handle obstacle avoidance
via active sonar and navigation through use of fixed locational beacons. AUV mode will
be developed and tested beginning in Fall 2003 (and pending further support). Shadow III
is shown here during a pool test in the summer of 2002.
The second generation Shadow prototype (2000-2001) was a tethered,
self-powered ROV that addressed power and control of movement in three dimensions.
It was successfully pool-tested but could not be altered for further
development, thus leading to a third generation, Shadow III. This model was a joint product
of AME and the Marine Biology Program (APU). It was designed and built by an
undergraduate student design team as their Senior Project in AME.
The first generation prototype, right, (1999-2000) was a one-dimensional
submersible learning tool built by an AME student design team for the Octopus project. It demonstrated
principles of bouyancy and depth control programming.