P15029: Air Muscle Underwater Fish Phase 2 - Buoyancy


Project Summary Project Information

The objective of this project is to create an underwater robot that looks and swims like a fish. The fish is to achieve these biomimetics by utilizing McKibben muscles to hydraulically propel the fish. The fish will be able to swim forward and turn, and have depth control using active buoyancy in both R/C and autonomous modes.

This project is a continuation of P14029, who built a robotic fish capable of swimming forward and turning. The project was an exercise in biomimicry and used artificial McKibben muscles to propel the robot.

Goals and Objectives

  • Design an active buoyancy system
  • Add underwater remote controlling
  • Program an autonomous swim mode
  • Improve physical aesthetics of the fish

The complete Project Summary can be viewed here.

The Project Readiness Package can be viewed here

Project Name
Underwater Fish Phase II - Buoyancy
Project Number
Project Family
Biomedical Track
Start Term
2141 (Fall 2014)
End Term
2135 (Spring 2015)
Faculty Guide
Rick Lux, ralddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Dr. Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard, kaleme@rit.edu
Sponsor (Financial Support)
Other Sponsors

Team Members

Fred, Sarah, Chloe, Igor, Brandon, Mark

Fred, Sarah, Chloe, Igor, Brandon, Mark

Member Role Contact
Sarah Bailey Project Manager sxb7058@rit.edu
Chloe Bohlman Webmaster cab8880@rit.edu
Fred Cookhouse Mechanical Lead fjc8904@rit.edu
Mark Pitonyak Electrical Lead mcp3579@rit.edu
Igor Drobnjak Systems Lead ixd8340@rit.edu
Brandon Micale Biomedical Lead bnm2143@rit.edu


Our guide Rick Lux and our customer Dr. Lamkin-Kennard
Mark Schiesser from Triline Automation
Dr. Sciremammano
Dr. Gomes
Dr. Walter
Dr. Schrlau
Last Year's Team P14029

Table of Contents MSD I

Problem Definition Systems Design Subsystems Design Detailed Design

Project Statement

Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

House of Quality


Week 3 Review Presentation

Functional Decomposition

Morphological Chart


Concept Development

Systems Architecture


Risk Assessment

Systems Design Review

Electrical Subsystems

Buoyancy Subsystem

Tail Structure

Full Skeletal Structure

Air Muscles



Subsystems Design Review

Design Overview

Drawings and Models

Electronic Schematics

PCB Layouts

Signal Flow Charts

Testing and Prototyping

Risk Assessment

Bill of Materials


Design Review Presentations

Table of Contents MSD II

Week 5 Week 8 Week 11 Week 14

Ballast Tank Testing

Skin Color Testing

Tail Motion Testing


Waterproofing Pump

Composite Head

Electronics Prototype

Tail Motion Testing

Problem Tracking

Updated Project Plan


Communication System

Swimming Algorithm

Electronics Hardware

Air Muscles

Buoyancy System

Eco-Flex Skin

Problem Tracking

Schedule to Imagine


Performance vs Requirements

Imagine RIT

Final Videos

Home | Planning & Execution