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A Remote Controlled Vehicle For Interdisciplinary Research And Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Mobile Robotics in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.95.1 - 9.95.6



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Paper Authors

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Wien Lohachit

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Gary Jeffress

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Alex Sadovski

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cody ross

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Carl Steidley

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Rafic Bachnak

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1420

A Remote Controlled Vehicle for Interdisciplinary Research and Education

Carl Steidley, Ray Bachnak, Wien Lohachit, Alex Sadovski, Cody Ross, Gary Jeffress Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Texas A&M University Corpus Christi 6300 Ocean Blvd. Corpus Christi, TX 78412


Water quality data collection in shallow water areas can be a challenging task. Obstacles encountered in such environments include difficulty in covering large territories and the presence of inaccessible areas due to a variety of reasons such as a soft bottom or contamination. There is also a high probability of disturbing the test area while placing the sensors. This paper describes a NASA-funded project, which has had a great deal of student involvement and is currently in the test phase, to develop a remote-controlled, shallow-draft vehicle designed as a supplemental tool for our studies of the South Texas Coastal waters. The system transmits environmental data wirelessly via a radio to a docking and control station in real-time.


Data collection in shallow water areas normally requires setting up sensors in several places. In addition to being redundant and time consuming, this task when performed manually has a high probability of disturbing the test area. Investigators in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CAMS) in conjunction with the Division of Nearshore Research (DNR) of the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (A&M-CC) currently collect water quality data in areas with water 3 ft. or deeper and not covered by one of our stationary Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON) stations, from a man- controlled boat. A number of research centers have been developing autonomous boats [1] – [4]. These boats, however, require course planning prior to deployment. As a result, the course is not easily changed once the boat is in the water. This paper describes a project undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of CAMS computer science, engineering technology, geographic information sciences, and mathematics professors and students with environmental investigators at DNR to design and develop a remotely controlled boat that continuously and efficiently collects water quality in shallow water areas (6 in-3 ft), rather than using fixed position sensors to make the water quality collections.

Our boat is small in size (7ft in length and 3 ft in width), has a shallow draft, and can be easily steered to collect data in real-time. The prototype is designed to collect salinity and other environmental data and is equipped with onboard computers, water quality instruments (Hydrolab), GPS, digital compass, a remote control receiver, and a receiver/transmitter radio (Freewave). It also has sensors to detect objects from all directions (front, sides, back, and

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Lohachit, W., & Jeffress, G., & Sadovski, A., & ross, C., & Steidley, C., & Bachnak, R. (2004, June), A Remote Controlled Vehicle For Interdisciplinary Research And Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13060

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