But how does the Kroboot actually do it’s job: Get rid of duckweed? In the image below, different parts of the Kroboot are highlighted. When you click certain parts of the image, you can see particular info about that part of the robot.
The LIDAR (or Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging) is what makes the Kroboot able to detect objects. Using lasers to calculate the distance to objects within 40 meters, in a 360-degree angle. The software implemented on the Kroboot uses this info to calculate how, and how fast it an object is incoming and whether it should evade the incoming object.
Intel RealSense Camera
This camera by Intel consists of a 3D-camera, a regular camera and a IR camera. This is used for the actual recognizing of duckweed, using both the regular and the IR-camera. The Kroboot recognizes duckweed using color recognition, whether in the visible or the infrared-spectrum. When found by the Kroboot (within it's viewing range), the Kroboot will move towards the duckweed to collect it.
The destruction mechanism is the pinnacle of the Kroboot's mechanical engineering. Consisting of more than 20 custom-designed, water-resistant and self-produced parts, it is the part of the Kroboot which gives it it's main function, but also holds the most potential for improvement.
Using a two-stage destruction process, it first grinds up larger parts of duckweed using a mechanism similar to that of a blender, after which the sludge is led into a gear-grinder-system, which is designed to destroy even the smallest particles of duckweed.
The (twin) electric motors which propel the Kroboot need to deliver enough propulsion to move the Kroboot through water, and a reasonable layer of duckweed. The motors which were used are the Blue Robotics T100 Thrusters. With a maximum forward thrust of 23 N per motor, the Kroboot is powerful enough to complete it's tasks.
An USB-hub is placed at the apparent hole at the top. It is used to be able to upload new software / download data to and from laptops and other devices, without having to remove the top of the Kroboot.
To be able to use the Kroboot for a minimum of 3 hours, some large batteries are needed. And we do have some large. Batteries. 8 heavy lead batteries enable the Kroboot to operate for a reasonably long time.
The brains of the Kroboot are contained in the electronics tower. Using multiple circuit boards (like the Intel UpBoard, or a RaspBerry Pi), data from all sensors is being obtained and translated into commands which are sent to the motors, ballast tanks and the destruction system.
There are four ballast tanks used in the Kroboot. These are used for the stabilization of the Kroboot and for the depth-regulation of the Kroboot. They are able to take on and eject water using a single pump, which can be reversed.
The current ballast tanks are not applied yet, because they are still in development (both physically and software-based).