Platypus goes to China!

Paul recently traveled to Nanjing to begin working with NUST and the airboats.  Zesheng and Yaonon did most of the work making the boats work in a beautiful NUST pond.

We also showed the boats at a robotics exhibition at a huge new technology park just outside Nanjing.

We are looking at the possibility of opening Platypus-China with researchers from Nanjing University.  Specifically, Platypus-China would look at shrimp and sea cucumber farms.

Hull building and Boat racing with Western Pennsylvania Summer STEMM Academy

On Friday Platypus played host to a team of high school students from STEMM Academy as part of their summer camp. After a brief introduction and demonstration students were given a chance to control one of two airboats via a Playstaion controller. This lead to more than one collision, a lot of spinning in circles and even becoming entangled in the  line of a nearby fisherman!

Students were then split into two teams (team Narwhal and team No Name) to build their own boat hull. After a quick demonstration by George, students used a hotwire, jigsaw, scissors and sandpaper to craft their own boat from two pieces of foam. No Name opted for a larger, more stable hull while team Narwhal, easily recognizable by the protruding horn from the front of their hull, chose a small, faster design. After the airboats fans and electronics were transferred to the new hulls, it was time for deployment!

Both boats successful navigated the pond, with students taking turns to control them. Team Narwhal, while faster, gave many nervous moments as it nearly tipped over in each tight turn. Unfortunately the final race was cancelled due to loss of power from a dead generator, however this left both teams as winners! Overall a great day was enjoyed by both Platypus and the students of STEMM academy.