The MIT ORCA 2b
In 2001, after victories with the ORCA 1 and ORCA 2, most of the core of the MIT Autonomous Underwater Vehicles team was pretty burned out, so we decided not to do a complete redesign that year. Instead, we just extended the existing vehicle chassis somewhat to accommodate new sensors needed to meet the new year’s challenges, and called it the ORCA 2b.
This turned out not to be the best plan: the absurdly-long vehicle ended up having pretty terrible dynamics in the water. We were all still proud of our second-place finish, but after two consecutive victories it definitely stung a little!
This ended up being my last year with Project ORCA, as I shifted my attention to building more general-purpose embedded robot controllers.