TIP - Great Probe Design

What: Saw-tooth profiles to improve probe design

Who: Bolsa Knolls Middle School - Salinas, CA

ROV System: Payload

Competition Class: ALL

Pros: Quick to make out of HDPE (high-density polyethylene)

Cons: Might produce sharp edges, which would be a safety violation; be sure to smooth any sharp edges.

MATE Insights: Every ROV should have a simple static probe as a mission tool to pick up items and bring them to the surface.  A simple saw-tooth profile works very well because it can maneuver under items and hang onto them.  The ROV typically pitches downward (nose goes down) when you are lifting an object at the front of the vehicle.  The tooth design holds the item onto the probe, whereas an object often will roll/fall off of a smooth probe if the ROV pitches downward during a lift. The saw-tooth profile probes can have multiple teeth or a single tooth. The height of the teeth and whether they are angular or rounded all depends on the material you are picking up.

Saw-Tooth Probe - objects stay on

Smooth Probe - objects fall off

Interesting bits: You can cut HDPE plastic with a PVC cutter!

Compiled by: Jim McDonnell, P.E., MATE Engineering Instructor