Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Patrick N. Currier, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Eric J. Coyle, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Charles F. Reinholtz, Ph.D.


This thesis presents the design and development of a fully autonomous surface vessel for use as a research platform for the Office of Naval Research and as a competition entry to the International Maritime RobotX Challenge in 2014 and 2016. The author’s contributions to this include the development of safety systems, power distribution systems, communications software, tasking software, and planning algorithms. The results of these developments include a hardware based safety system, a modular power and health monitoring system, an easy to use autoconfiguring inter-process communications stack, a dynamic tasking engine, and a comparison of two solutions to planning with a kinodynamically constrained vehicle. Several recommendations are made for future work including combining the two planning algorithms and expanding the tasking framework to include multiple vehicles.