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Competitve Autonomous Task fish

The CATfish was Saguaro AUV's inaugural vehicle, entered in the 16th RoboSub and the 7th National Underwater Robotics Challenge competitions. The CATfish was the product of the University of Arizona engineering senior course, 498, which forms multidisciplinary teams of students to solve engineering challenges with a limited budget.

As a rookie in the AUV scene, Saguaro AUV had to develop a platform from the ground-up, using less than $3000 and in the course of just seven months. The result is the CATfish, a light-weight and versatile vehicle. Generous donations from Intel and PNI Corp gave the team the processing power and sensory input required for RoboSub. The Carl Hayden Falcon Robotics team, entering their 3rd year in RoboSub, purchased four hydrophones for joint use in the competition.

Saguaro AUV showcased the vehicle at the 2013 Design Day event, the annual display of senior engineering design projects, where the pinger localization board garnered the team the “Prototron Best Printed Circuit Design” award. The CATfish placed 1st in NURC Auto and 12th of 31 in RoboSub after a series of hardware complications kept the team from completing a mission run.

Vehicle Overview


Dimensions: 20" x 24" x 17.5"

Dry weight: ~35 lbs.


  • 2x Logitech C615 HD webcams

  • PNI Corp. TRAX digital compass

  • 250 kPa pressure transducer

  • Passive sonar array

Runtime: ~1 hour


Prototron Best Printed Circuit Design

1st Place – NURC Auto

12th Place – RoboSub 16

Related Files

Critical Design Report

Final Report

RoboSub Journal Paper

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