I often find, in explaining our purpose and our project to people, that their eyes glaze over at a certain point in the conversation. Most people lack deep technical expertise, and even if they ask about how a component of the AUV operates, they don't want to hear a technical explanation. They want a "technical enough" explanation encased in engrossing language. On top of that, they don't want to listen to you talk for more than 30 seconds. Here goes:
The Diamond Reef Explorers are a Brooklyn-based group tasked with creating an autonomous underwater vehicle to explore the bottom of the ocean around NYC. On command, the robot ventures on its own to the ocean floor and records high definition video of the undersea environment. It accomplishes this with three specialized computers for vision, navigation, and safety monitoring. The vision computer controls high-level behavior, as well as processes visual data for environment mapping and obstacle detection. The navigation computer controls the thrusters, and is tasked with vehicle stabilization in ocean currents and local positioning. The safety computer controls the ballast system, monitors the hardware for malfunctions, such as leaks, and monitors the software for critical errors. Development has begun on our first model, which we're on track to have in the water this Spring.