College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department


This document serves to introduce the design team and their competition challenge, as well as to detail the results of the project. The original design challenge was the NASA Micro-g NExT’s SAVER (Surface Autonomous Vehicle for Emergency Rescue) competition; we were tasked with developing a self-driving water vehicle capable of delivering supplies to Orion astronauts separated from the rest of their crew in the case of a maritime emergency. However, we were not selected to go forward in this competition and thus we decided to scale down the size of the SAVER device to shift the focus of the project to testing and refining the technologies necessary for a successful future team. Additionally, our overall Cal Poly SAVER design team was split into two subsystems: one focused on the hull and payload of SAVER and the other focused on the navigation, controls, and mechatronic components. This report will detail the design process of the navigation and controls subsystem. Throughout the course of the project, we performed research on the problem at hand, outlined and refined a preliminary design through ideation and initial analysis. Following the downsizing of the project, we finalized the design, created prototype devices, and performed testing on these devices. The main body of this report details our design processes, as well as the manufacturing, testing, and verification of the SAVER navigation and controls prototype. Finally, a project management section describes our plans for handing off the current SAVER device and documentation to next year’s SAVER team.