A Glimpse into GRASP Research: Aquatic Robotics

Featuring Tahiya Salam

Video Version:


Motion Capture – “Motion capture, or mo-cap, is a process of digital recording of people or objects’ movements.” Robots use motion capture systems to measure their pose in 3D space. – Teslasuit (HS)

Microcontroller – “A microcontroller is a ‘simple computer’ that runs one program in a loop. They are designed to perform a single, specific task.” – Adafruit

Motor – Direct current (DC) motors are a type of electric motor that provides efficient constant rotation. This is in contrast with servo motors that offer precise positional control with limited range of motion. DC motors use the interaction of magnetic fields and conductors to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy for rotation. – SeeedStudio

NameGrade RangeResourcesDescription
Cleaning the Ocean3-5Requires WeDo RobotDesign a LEGO prototype of a device that could help remove plastic waste from the ocean.
One World Ocean3-5$0.50/groupStudents learn about ocean currents and the differences between salt and fresh water.
Navigation Unit6-8Varies24 activity unit that explores the basics of navigation including relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude, cardinal directions, maps, and compasses. Activities can be done independently.
Build a simple motor6-12$10/groupBuild a simple electromagnetic motor
Designing Clay Boats6-8$4/groupStudents use modeling clay to design and build boats that float in water with the objective of holding as much weight as possible. Topics such as buoyancy and density are explored.
Using linear equations to guide space travel8-10$0Students act as aerospace engineering teams as they create linear equations to guide space shuttles safely through obstacles.
Build a SeaPerch Naval Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV)7-12~$150/groupSeaPerch is an aquatic robotics competition. You can build your own ROV with this manual. SeaPerch also provides lots of extension activities with Standards mapping.
Curriculum Connections
Math (Common Core)Science (NGSS)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.EE.B.6Derive the equation y = mx for a line through the origin and the equation y = mx + b for a line intercepting the vertical axis at b.HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3Engineering Design
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.G.B.8Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate systemMS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3Engineering Design
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSF.IF.A.2Use function notation, evaluate functions for inputs in their domains, and interpret statements that use function notation in terms of a context.MS-PS2-2Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
MS-ESS2-4Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
HS-LS2-7Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
HS-PS2-1Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
HS-ESS2-5Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes