“Student-Inventor” awarded prize for multi-purpose submarine vehicle

Sebastian Dawid Olędzki from AGH UST was awarded a prize at the 7th National Competition “Student-Inventor” for a mechanism used in “A submarine vehicle with a hull of changeable geometry”. 

This year, the competition organised by the Kielce University of Technology was entered by a record number of applications. 25 universities from all over the country sent in 90 solutions. The competition jury awarded five equivalent main prizes, eight distinctions, and seven special prizes. The competition was addressed to students, doctoral students and university graduates, who during the course of their studies had been the developers or co-developers of a utility model / an industrial design protected by an exclusive right, or one that had been submitted to the Polish Patent Office or an equivalent office for intellectual property rights abroad.  

Wiatka – a robot featuring an elastic hull of changeable geometry   

This multi-purpose submarine robot of a small size and low production and maintenance costs can carry out underwater tasks, such as cleaning structures (for example, water intakes, ship and boat hulls) or lifting objects from the bottom of water reservoirs. These assignments require from a vehicle the capability of carrying additional equipment, hence a high ratio of payload weight to kerb weight. A characteristic feature of the robot is an elastic hull of changeable geometry, which makes it possible to submerge the vehicle by means of controlling and changing its displacement. The hull of the submarine robot is made of a light elastic pipe of considerable tensile strength, attached to a light external structure. The pipe is filled with compressed gas, whose pressure is changed in relation to a given submersion of the vehicle in such a way that the gas pressure slightly exceeds the pressure of water at a given depth, thus ensuring the correct stiffness of the hull. The ratio of payload weight that can be carried by robot Wiatka to its kerb weight (calculated for the existing model) is 1:1, compared to the typical value of 0.1:1 for other robots available on the market. For example, robot Wiatka of a weight equal to 30 kg will be able to perform a task that could only be performed by other available robots whose weight equals 300 kg. Therefore, the payload weight of the invented vehicle is considerably higher than the payload weight of other submarine vehicles currently available on the market. Also, the depth control system is much lighter and simpler than the similar systems of submarine vehicles available on the market (there are no ballast tanks or the entire installation for their filling and emptying, or cycloidal propellers), which makes it more reliable. Moreover, robot Wiatka offers far-reaching modularity. 

The project is carried out by a team whose members are Sebastian Dawid Olędzki, Jakub Grabek, BSc, and Łukasz Sadowski, BSc; their research supervisors are Dr Wiesław Olędzki and Daniel Prusak, DSc. 

The main prize in the competition is the participation of the developers of the prizewinning solutions in the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva. The laureates and honoured developers will also take part in the International Warsaw Invention Show.