Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
The Marine Gastrobot sponsored by Dr. Christopher Kitts of the Cal Poly Center for Applications in Biotechnology was a research and development effort intended to explore the use of microbial fuel cell technology as a power source for underwater robots. Our team Ocean Locomotion succeeded in developing a first iteration of an underwater robotic platform suitable for microbial fuel cell integration. The primary feature of the design is its sinusoidal fin propulsion intended for benthic exploration with limited risk of entanglement. During the course of development, Ocean Locomotion explored the use of low power actuation methods and determined their limited use for underwater locomotion, tested low power boost converter compatibility with microbial fuel cells, and built hardware capable of integration with microbial fuel cells.