College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Soaring purple urchin populations have contributed to a greater than 90% reduction of northern California’s bull kelp forests. Human intervention to reduce the purple urchin population may allow localized kelp patches to grow. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife requested that our team develop a mechanical device to aid in the removal of the urchins. This document provides an update from the scope of work and details the process conducted to reach a scale final design. In this document, we provide background research to show our understanding of urchins and their effect on kelp forests. Then, we analyze the requirements and engineering specification that guided our solution to this problem. The solution we proceeded with is that of an ROV with a suction attachment and onboard storage container. We show the process by which we developed and selected ideas for a solution. Next, we explain the process by which we built and tested a scale design. Then, we explain in detail the layout of our scale design, and the materials required for the scale design. Finally, we will present the results of our testing, and a recommendation for how our design can be scaled up based on what we have learned.