The Deployment of Aalto Explorer V 1.0 (Part 3)


This report is a reflection on the prototype phases of the first version (V1), in mechanical engineering aspects and industrial design concepts. After research period, the team decided to design and test 2 prototype versions. The first one is more rough and with no complete features as the final product. The main objective is to test functionality of electronic devices and waterproof enclosure.

Goals for prototype V1:

  1. 30 meters Resistance (structure and waterproof).
  2. Supports of the electronic devices.
  3. Porthole.
  4. Tracks.
  5. Wires sealing.

Therefore, we tried to keep the solutions as simple as possible to be able to build the V1 in time and get useful feedback for the second version.


For handling the Pressure, we decided to use a cylindrical shape, the usual shapes for pressure vessels and pipes, because this shape permits a better stress distribution. The pipe’s material is stainless steel due to its corrosion resistance in water environments. Besides, for waterproof enclosure we used commercial flanges and a gasket.


The electronic components needed a tailored support that fits inside the pipe with all its connections. Therefore, supports for Arduino, Raspberry, Full HD camera, Raspberry Pi camera and LED lights were designed and 3D printed in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). The architecture of the supports is modular, allowing them to be part of next versions or its components to be changed.


After some simulations we choose Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) with 10 mm of thickness as the window in the flange, fixed with marine glue Sikaflex 291i.


The first version of the tracks was designed and manufactured with aluminum for the structure and sprockets. Due to the deadline for V1 prototype, the test of motors’ waterproof could not be done in time. Nevertheless, a small functional prototype was 3D printed with a DC motor inside to test the waterproof enclosure.


Analyzing similar products in the market, we made a tailored penetrator, made out of a M30 stainless steel bolt, an O-ring and marine glue.


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