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2020 HDP Dream Team: Conservation X Labs

The 2020 HDP Dream Teams are participating in a two month engineering sprint to address their nonprofit partner. Follow their journey here.

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The Challenge-

Reducing Ghost Gear:
Up to 10% of the world’s ocean plastic comes from lost or abandoned fishing gear. This poses a threat to large whales (the Red List estimates that 45% of all threatened marine mammals are impacted) and small crabs (NOAA estimates that there are 145,000 derelict crab pots still “fishing” in the Chesapeake Bay alone, killing over 3 million crabs a year).

This challenge seeks innovations that reduce “soak time” – the time that gear (pots or longlines) has to be left in the water unnecessarily, or deployment in undesirable locations, that increase the chances of snags, or loss.

The Team:

Erin "RobotGrrl" Kennedy
Robotics and Digital Fabrication
Canada, Ontario, Ottawa / Kingston

Oluwatobi Oyinlola
Embedded Systems Engineer and Inventor
Nigeria, Ibadan

Leonardo Ward
Electronics Engineer and Technology Developer
Venezuela, La Guaira, Catia La Mar

Problem 

How might we decrease the occurrence of marine species entanglements with fishing gear and decrease ghost gear creation, while making the commercial fishing process more intelligent for fisheries?

Our main goal is the prevention of gear loss. A great solution not only benefits the environment but also benefits the fishers, they can avoid the income losses that ghost gear creates and also benefit from an intelligent gear that collaborates to improve their efficiency. 

To achieve our goal we define a concept of operations the includes an intelligent buoy that allows fishers to track the position of the traps, and a ropeless mechanism that prevents entanglements.

Electronics

This project contains the design of 2 electronic devices (from left to right in the following image): the Intelligent Buoy and the Onboard Gateway.

Intelligent Buoy

To achieve the position marking of the traps we selected 5 main components

  1. ESP32-DEVKITC-32D
  2. RFM95W LoRa Radio
  3. TB6612FNG MOTOR DRIVER BOARD
  4. Adafruit Ultimate GPS
  5. SIM7600CE-T 4G(LTE) Arduino Shield

From this main components we designed 2 PCBs: Buoy A V1.0 and Buoy B V1.0.

Buoy A V1.0 is a 141.73 mm x 54.86 mm PCB that integrates the 5 main components (ESP32, LoRa, GPS, Motor Driver and GSM/GPRS). Buoy B V1.0 is a 102.46 mm x 44.20 mm PCB that integrates 4 of the main components (ESP32, LoRa, GPS and Motor Driver). 

To describe the PCB designs we have prepared the following guides:

It is possible to adapt more modules/breakout boards to the current designs, there are dedicated connectors that allow it in each board, we have explored the following additions:

Onboard Gateway

To communicate with the intelligent buoy and receive the GPS data we have selected  3 main components

  1. ESP32-DEVKITC-32D
  2. RFM95W LoRa Radio
  3. USB LiIon/LiPoly charger

From this main components we designed the PCB: Onboard Gateway V1.0 (134.11 mm x 62.48 mm).

To describe the PCB design we have prepared the following guides:

Mechanical Design Specifications.pdf

Information about the Release Mechanism, Intelligent Buoy, and Onboard Gateway. Values for parametric design

Adobe Portable Document Format - 573.53 kB - 09/19/2020 at 18:57

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Onboard Gateway V1.0 Schematic.pdf

Schematic of the PCB Board: Onboard Gateway V1.0

Adobe Portable Document Format - 73.90 kB - 08/17/2020 at 16:35

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Buoy B V1.0 Schematic.pdf

Schematic of the PCB Board: Buoy B V1.0

Adobe Portable Document Format - 82.75 kB - 08/17/2020 at 16:35

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Buoy A V1.0 Schematic.pdf

Schematic of the PCB Board: Buoy A V1.0

Adobe Portable Document Format - 89.55 kB - 08/17/2020 at 16:34

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Eja Concept Review - Mini Slides.pdf

Slides of our concept review presentation on July 20

Adobe Portable Document Format - 43.79 MB - 07/20/2020 at 14:24

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View all 7 files

  • 2 × ESP32 DEVKITC 32D Microcontroller | Onboard Gateway V1.0 | Buoy A V1.0 | Buoy B V1.0
  • 1 × Adafruit Ultimate GPS GPS | Buoy A and B V1.0
  • 1 × CONN HDR 6POS 0.1 TIN PCB Connector for the Battery Charger and the GSM/GPRS Module | Onboard Gateway V1.0 | Buoy A V1.0
  • 3 × CONN HDR 9POS 0.1 GOLD PCB Connector for the LoRa Module and the GPS | Onboard Gateway V1.0 | Buoy A V1.0 | Buoy B V1.0
  • 4 × CONN HDR 19POS 0.1 TIN PCB Connector for the ESP32 | Onboard Gateway V1.0 | Buoy A V1.0 | Buoy B V1.0

View all 21 components

View all 57 project logs

View all 3 instructions

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Discussions

Carlos Sanoja wrote 09/03/2020 at 11:32 point

Hi guys, what an incredible project, I understand you have been working for a couple of months now, hopefully you can share some progress. I'm an embedded developer and I would like to see how this project has been tackled, but I see that you haven't published anything about it yet, my notes include:

1. What tools are you using? FreeRTOS?
2. How do you manage the offline behavior? I checked some hardware descriptions and I don't see any RTC, do you have any different idea to address this issue maybe by software? If you are using it, how is the process of initializing the device to take the correct time reference in your code? Without a doubt being in the middle of the ocean without an internet connection is a big problem.

3. Will you publish your work opensource? with some repository?

I hope you can answer my questions and I wish you the best of success, waiting to see your results!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Oluwatobi Oyinlola wrote 09/05/2020 at 08:18 point

Thank you for your comment really appreciate it,

1. We are using ESP32 (NodeMCU) which is almost generally available everywhere if anyone need to prototype it, together with Arduino IDE

2. Well, RTC will be included-still contemplating if we should implement it in the firmware or just put the hardware RTC(Probably YES) and about the internet connection- yes we are saving a spiff data inside the microcontroller (About 50 or more data) which will be uploaded when the bouy is connected to the onboard gateway, and push the data when the bouy is on top of the water with Internet to AWS server.

3. Absolutely, its is completely opensource.

For team EJA.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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