Project Overview

Marine Robot Deployment and Control System

Senior Project & Thesis (2020-2021)


Our senior design group, consisting of 3 mechanical engineers and 1 computer engineer, developed a full marine research platform consisting of a dedicated launch and recovery system and a ~200 lb remotely operated marine vehicle (ROV Nautilus) with advanced control capabilities.

This test demonstrates basic functionalities of ROV Nautilus. The test confirms that it is waterproof and validates that the electrical and software systems can effectively communicate with top-side control. We also verified the vehicle speed, remote operation capabilities, live video feed, and LED's.


The purpose of this project was to increase the operational efficiency of marine research. The expandability of the marine robot allows it to serve as a platform for a variety of equipment that can easily be installed and interfaced. The launch and recovery system was designed to make deployments of many mid-sized ROV's (up to 250 lbs) safer and more efficient.


For the full in-depth review of the entire project, you can access our team's full thesis on SCU's scholar commons website for free. My direct contributions to this project include leading the LARS development, designing and wiring the electrical systems, developing the feedback control systems, and designing 3D printed parts for the ROV.

Click here for free access to the full thesis


A full operations package for underwater research, including the mid-sized ROV Nautilus with a distributed control system, a topside graphical user interface (GUI), and a dedicated launch and recovery system (LARS), was developed to increase the operational efficiency of scientific exploration and experimentation missions through Santa Clara University’s (SCU’s) Robotics Systems Laboratory (RSL). Design of the mechanical subsystems on Nautilus added flexibility of usage and protection of components. The new GUI improved pilot control of Nautilus with an added heads-up display and easy access to sensor readouts. The simulated Nautilus altitude control system has an error of ±1% and a tested heading control system with an error of ±5 ̊, enhancing navigation. The LARS, though not manufactured due to project setbacks, will improve the efficiency and safety of deployment and retrieval. It is also expected to decrease the amount of time and people necessary for both the launch and recovery processes from five minutes to two minutes and four people to one person respectively.