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ABOUT Platypus, LLC:

Platypus, LLC. is a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off that collects and analyzes water data using autonomous robotics. With the goal of improving and protecting our water resources, its technology and services gather information about water ways and water bodies such as topography, pH, composition and more, so that clients have more information and can make better decisions about our water.

 
 
 

 WHAT I WAS ASKED TO DO:

The manufacturing and assembly process for Platypus’ three boats, Lutra, Serval, and Felis, was tedious, time consuming, and expensive. I was asked to redesign each boat so that it could be more cheaply manufactured and assembled more efficiently.

 
 

WHAT I DID:

 
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  • Worked with electrical engineers and roboticists on the design requirements of the boats

  • Developed new CAD models of each boat in Autodesk Fusion 360

  • Consulted with rotomolders on the manufacturability of the designs

 
 

Lutra

 
 

Measuring at 3 feet long, Lutra is Platypus’ most sold platform and is meant for for deployment on smaller bodies of water.

The original design of Lutra was such that it included many separate processes and parts. The body was formed out of two separate pieces and the hatches and hatch attachments were custom fabricated.

 
 

The final design of Lutra takes ease of assembly into consideration and optimizes many important features of the boat

  • The body of the boat was rotomolded out of one part, saving both assembly time and cost

  • The size of the compartments was expanded to give more room for components and they were designed to fit a standard commercial hatch

  • The surface was shaped to promote water run-off away from the compartments and electronic components

 
 

Serval

 

Serval is a 5 foot long boat meant for monitoring small to medium sized waters and is intended to handle a larger payload and provide more versatility for sensor mounting options.

It experienced many of the same assembly and cost burdens as Lutra, but required the creation of fully new CAD models.

 
 

The final design:

  • The body of the boat was rotomolded out of one part, saving both assembly time and cost

  • The size of the compartment was expanded to give more room for components and were designed to fit a standard commercial hatch

  • The surface was shaped to promote water run-off away from the compartment and electronic components

  • Indentations were added on the flat surfaces for greater material stability when mounting object or parts

 
 

Felis

 
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At 9 feet long, Felis is Platypus’ longest boat and is designed to withstand the rigorous conditions of large bodies of water. The catamaran has the capability of supporting high payloads of supplies or equipment.

The new design for Felis was one that also required a freshly new design.

 
 

The final design:

  • The boat was designed to be compatible with standard commercial components

  • The design was intended to provide versatile mounting options for the thrusters, components, and accessories

  • The surface was shaped to promote water run-off away from the compartments and electronic components

  • Indentations were added on the flat surfaces for greater material stability when mounting object or parts

 
 

The Product in Action

 
 
 
 
 

WHAT THEY THOUGHT:


"Platypus gave Lauren a tough, open-ended, time and budget constrained design task and she exceeded all expectations.  Not only were the final designs excellent, but the way she worked through multiple iterations with our demanding engineering team and the stubborn manufacturers was amazing.  We'll definitely be working with Lauren again and would recommend her for all challenging design tasks!"

// Paul Scerri, President, Platypus LLC. //