While building their solution for the Aegean Ro-Boat Races this summer, the student team of the Department of Product & Systems Design Engineering, are experimenting with the positioning and functionality of the boat thrusters. The selected positioning should offer the maximum velocity, while also having the minimum negative impact on the balance and offer the necessary maneuverability of the vessel. Although the mathematical models on paper may give an idea of this optimal position, hands-on experimentation is required to be certain.
Before testing on water and in order not to damage the hull significantly, lab experiments were conducted first, testing many possible positions for the thrusters. For this, an external platform was designed and printed, consisting of the base which is glued to the body of the vessel, and the holders, which carry the thrusters and are bolted on the different positions of the base. A series of maneuver scenarios were conducted, providing useful insights before moving to trials on water.