Design Challenge

Design Challenge:


Learners will discuss, research, design, build, and showcase a model ocean exploration device from LEGO bricks or other found materials. Work in teams to research the variety of ocean exploration devices including the tools on E/V Nautilus but don't forget the Build-A-Bot Inspiration Slidedeck for more ideas!  Brainstorm what type of tool learners want to make, what their device will do, and why there is a need for this tool. 

Design Challenge:

Robotic Arm Kit Activity

In this activity, you will build a small-scale hydraulic robot arm to move blocks and witness this fluid dynamic system in action.

On E/V NautilusROV Hercules relies on a hydraulic pump to activate its two manipulator arms.

Design Challenge:

3D Printable E/V Nautilus

Use this 3D design to print your own E/V Nautilus


Nautilus is equipped with some of the latest technological systems, helping to advance the frontiers of ocean exploration. The 68-meter (223 foot) ship is equipped with all of the latest in ocean technology and can host a 33 person science team, in addition to 17 crew members. 

Design Challenge:

Ocean Motion & the Attitude Sensor Project

How E/V Nautilus responds to open ocean waves and its orientation called the ship’s attitude. Sensors on the ship work to collect the variables of heave (up and down motion), pitch (front to back seesaw motion), and roll (side to side motion) of the vessel.

In this project, learn to build a Raspberry Pi©-powered sensor to collect pitch and roll data of your platform, just like the attitude sensor on Nautilus!


Design Challenge:

LEGO Brick ROV Hercules

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of building your very own ROV Hercules using LEGO bricks! 

The real ROV Hercules is about the size of a car and is equipped with a high-definition video camera, several LED lights, two manipulator arms, and a variety of oceanographic sensors and samplers. 

Share your designs with us on social media with #NautilusLive. 

Design Challenge:

Augmented Reality Bathymetry Sandbox

The AR sandbox project combines 3D visualization applications with a hands-on sandbox exhibit to teach earth science concepts.

Designed by researchers at University of California - Davis, the hands-on exhibit allows learners to physically explore topographic and bathymetric concepts, relationships, and visualize the processes that result from manipulating the sand.

Design Challenge:

Build A Conductivity Tester

Use household supplies to create a tool to test the conductivity of different materials. Explore how electrically conductive or insulative different materials are using your tester.