Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, c2013.

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts


As the field of multi-robot control systems grows, the demand for flexible, robust and precise multi-robot testbeds increases. Up to this point, the testbeds that do exist for testing multi-robot controllers are often expensive, hard to deploy, and typically constrained to a single plane of motion. These constraints limit the capacity to conduct research which is why team Autonomously Controlled Electromechanical Systems (ACES) has created the PVCROV system. PVCROV is a low cost, underwater platform for testing multi-robot control systems. By utilizing an underwater environment, ACES created a testbed that is not constrained to a single plane of motion. Additionally, the advantage of an underwater testbed is the ability to simulate weightlessness, as if in a space environment. Both of these features make this testbed extremely valuable to multi-robot research as they open the door for conducting experiments that previously could not be performed. ACES final product consisted of four PVCROV's tethered to a surface buoy with wireless command and control via an 'onshore' control computer. Each system was designed, simulated, manufactured and tested based on requirements developed from a customer needs survey performed with the targeted research team. Although complete functionality was not achieved, a new team of students has started a new iteration of the development process which will bring the system up to full functionality. With graduate student experimenters already involved, ACES has created a testbed that will provide great value to the robotics research program at SCU.