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Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROV) for monitoring and maintaining reservoirs have never been used in Hungary before. A lot of water could be saved by using ROV for maintenance of the reservoirs in local water utility companies. We have contacted experts from local water utility companies to find ways to cooperate. They showed interest and started to give ideas how the ROV should be used for water conservation.
#SciChallenge2017 Underwater Cyclops - monitoring of reservoirs has never been easier
Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Hungarian Competition, 2017
Underwater Cyclops -
monitoring of reservoirs has
never been easier
Nyíregyháza Center of Vocational Centre
Bánki Donát Polytechnical School and Dormitory
Short abstract 3
Statement of work 3
Introduction of the students 3
Extended summary 4
We are Team Bánkirobot 4
A development schedule 4
The First ROV 5
First meeting with the experts 6
Our aim – Minimize technological water loss 7
A visit to the company’s plant in Kisvárda 7
The story of the company 7
Core activity, quality policy, human resources 8
Property security 9
Proposal to use underwater robot 9
General needs supported by the water utility company 10
Service’s requirement in connection with the project 12
Show of the Technical information 12
Camera and light 14
Power unit 15
Computer designed ROV models 16
Control electronics 16
The mounting; Disinfecting tank 17
Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROV) for monitoring and maintaining reservoirs have
never been used in Hungary before. A lot of water could be saved by using ROV for maintenance of
the reservoirs in local water utility companies. We have contacted experts from local water utility
companies to find ways to cooperate. They showed interest and started to give ideas how the ROV
should be used for water conservation.
STATEMENT OF WORK
We designed and built the Underwater Cyclops – (ROV). We contacted the local water utility
company ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ ZRT’ and we started our study with researches about reservoir maintenance
and we mentioned this solution for maintaining reservoirs. They instantly gave us some ideas about
how these Robots should be used among water utility companies. Then we together with the experts
of ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ ZRT’ calculated how much water could be saved by using these ROVs.
INTRODUCTION OF THE STUDENTS
Bence Tóth (16)
I have been a student of the Bánki Donát Polytechnical High Scool School since 2016. I enjoy math,
physics and electronics. In the future, I would like to study computing, or engineering studies. I want
to be a hardwer developer, but I will always deal with the environment. We have a big apple tree
garden and I have to help a lot of for my father.
Miklós Zsigó (15)
My main interests lie in the fields of mathematics and informatics, but I am also fascinated by some
aspects of physics. In the future, I would like to study computing, but I would still be interested in
physics. I love sports, like ice hockey and the basketball.
Bálint Szemerszki (15)
I am working in the Team Bánkirobot since 2016. My favourite subjects are math and physics. I have
been playing basketball for 11 years.
In Hungary water utility companies maintain reservoirs according to an annual maintenance plan
which includes the cleaning of the surfaces of the reservoirs, equipment inspection and repairs after
complete discharge of water from the reservoirs is done.
To make this maintenance work more efficient, pictures and videos should be taken prior to the
maintenance procedure and experts should analyse them. The utility company would like to get
information about the quality of the surfaces of the reservoirs without unnecessary discharge of water
from the reservoirs. Should any repairs be made, based on prior examinations, the possible long term
maintenance job can be planned and prepared by the company.
With the archived records of the regular examinations, photos and videos can be compared so the
planning of more extensive maintenance jobs can be more cost-effective. The lifetime of reservoirs
can also be determined.
Using the remote controlled underwater research robot which is able to perform pre-set duties along
planned routes could help saving enormous amounts of water. In addition, it is able to perform tests
in a cost-effective way which could not be done by a diver. Furthermore, some tools can be attached
to the ROV so it is capable of doing little repairs on the reservoirs.
At the moment this concept is almost unknown among experts of utility companies but it would make
it possible to maintain reservoirs without unnecessary discharges.
In the ideal case, the discharge of several thousand of cubic meters of water can be avoided and great
amounts of water can be saved.
We are the Team Bánkirobot
We have been doing robotics since 2004 in our school. We have joined the Robocup community in
2007, participating with high school pupils. In the last years with many difficulties we sucessfully
participated in every Robocup event: 2007 (Atlanta) RCJ Soccer team, 2008 (Suzhou) RCJ Soccer,
and Rescue Team, 2009 (Graz) RCJ Rescue Team, and Hungarian- Finnish common Rescue team
(Fuji), 2010 (Singapore) RCJ Rescue Team, 2011 (Istanbul) RCJ Soccer and Rescue team, 2013
(Eindhoven) RCJ Soccer team.
A development schedule
We have two engineer teacher to assist, and help. They will help in the CNC programming, and the
production of the base parts (omniweel, etc.). The production of the base plate is quite dangerous
(cutting, milling, lathe, etc.), so the pupils with no experience needs the assistants. The main
mechanical parts will be produced with the help of these engineer teachers. We are doing the CAD
with Autodesk Inventor, then producing and assembling from the drawings. We need a driver circuit
to connect the motors and the other peripherals. The PCB design will be made with Eagle CAD.
The peripherals will be a display ensuring the fast debugging, and sensor data readout.
The PCB CAD, assembly and programming we will ask help from professional experienced robot
Students do applied engineering: design, manufacturing preparations, preparation of half-makes,
assembly and piloting. These are only partly visualized by students in regular classes, but here they
can experience it with the help of professionals.
Dissemination is also a very important part of our job. We would like to present our results on
professional conferences, innovative and Start-up competitions too.
Our pieces of work are usually presented and advertised both in local and national media.
Furthermore, exhibitions and freshmen's programs present them.
The useful practices developed during working processes are shared on a professional blog in
adaptable form with everyone who is interested in it, and everyone can follow the steps of
We would also like to organise programmes specifically for girls. It would be very important that the
girls appear in different professions.
Every year, we participate in the Scientific and Innovative Youth Competition. Every year we have
at least one contestant in the second round. There hasn't been a year when a work made and submitted
for the competition wouldn’t have been at least complimented.
This year, our Smart Firefighter Uniform got the 2nd
The Smart Firefighter Uniform project has been invited to the MakerFair (Rome) exhibition, where
it won the Innovation prize.
The First ROV
Last year we built the first ROV. During the building process, we gained a lot of experience and by
using this experience, we decided to build such a device which would meet the requirements of our
Figure 1 – The First ROV
First meeting with the experts
Since there is no sea in Hungary, a submarine research robot can only be used for fun purposes in our
rivers and lakes. Due to the international cases, we do believe that there must be a problem, a work
process or a research issue where a remote controlled device can be useful.
First, we visited the nearby sewage treatment plant , where Krajecz András -the head of the plant-
received us. After a short conversation, it turned out that in this place ROV cannot be used, because
the visual range of the camera is short in the contaminated water.
Due to Krajecz András’ advice, we contacted Hüse Péter -The plant manager of the water supply
plant of Kisvárda, who considered our plans to be really promising. We were asked to visit the plant,
where we could see and experience how such plant work, what were it’s duties and what legal
regulations they are to comply with. We understood the legal regulations, had a look at the water
storage pools at the site and we were also introduced to the process which occurs during the
maintenance of storage pools.
Figure 2. - First meeting with the experts
Our aim – Minimize technological water loss
Water loss – in public awareness, most of the time it is described as a network problem in the form
of dripping taps or leaking water pipes. From the point of you of water supply companies, the network
loss is the difference between the produced and the sold amount of water. To produce drinking water,
it is required to possess sufficient amount of water, which depends on many factors, but mainly the
quality of the produced water and the quality standards of drinking water. It is necessary to clean the
supply system periodically. It is a must water demand, which reduces effectiveness, not only are we
to reduce the network loss for environmental reasons In the light of the limited availability of water
resources, but we also have to reduce the operating loss. Loss reduction is not a campaign, but an
ongoing activity, which requires technological innovation as well. Water loss control represents the
efforts of water utilities to provide accountability in their operation by reliably auditing their water
supplies and implementing controls to minimize system losses.
A visit to the company’s plant in Kisvárda
The early spring period made fieldwork possible as well. During the visit, it was the first time the
robot had been in the reservoir pool, and the first snapshots were also taken.
Figure 3. The reservoir
The story of the company
NYÍRSÉGVÍZ Zrt. was founded in 1996. 29 local councils and the Hungarian government founded
it. The biggest joint owner is now Nyíregyháza with more than 52,8% of the share. The company’s
field of activity has been growing since 2003. The founders took in villages of the county and these
villages’ public water utilities were operated by the villages but they realised that they wouldn’t be
able to handle it for long. In this way, the employees got experience in taking in counties smoothly
before the laws about water utility companies were passed. The field of activity of ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ
ZRT.’ has grown to 86 villages and provides water utility service. At the end of 2015, the number of
the customers of the company were more than 490.000. Nowadays -after the integration took place
in the sector, Out of the 41 licensed service supplier ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ ZRT.’ is on the 10th place.
Core activity, quality policy, human resources
The company’s basic responsibilities are water supply and sewage cleaning . They are very attentive
to environmental protection because they want to be able to supply clean drinkning water to future
generations. The basic plan of the organisation is to supply clean water, collect and clean the sewage
in the most efficient way In the field of ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ ZRT.’ There is full coverage of water supply
and 73% of the field had coverage with sewage canals The company has developed such an integrated
control system (MSZ EN ISO 9001:2009; MSZ EN ISO 14001:2005 and MSZ EN ISO 22000:20005)
which is lawful and meets the requirements of the European Union. Since the start, the organization
has an accredited laboratory which uses modern equipment and educate workers. Every employee
of the company tend to create such society that is satisfied with their work and they also try to set an
example of an qualitative and economical service with the help of performance, expertise and
Figure 4. The Nyírségvíz ZRT
The key to a perfect service is a planned preventive maintenance, fast troubleshooting, and the
necessary renovation of reservoirs. The company’s capital situation has remained in good condition
even during the harder economic conditions. Both the shareholders and the company considered the
long-term protection of property security of public utilities are really important and by means of
efficient operation and management, they insured the financial resources of the renovation of the
public utilities When it became possible in 2007, the company changed to asset management contracts
concerning utilities run by the government. The organisation wants to improve the satisfaction of
customers, employees and joining governments and they also want to insure the proper conditions
of the reservoirs.
Proposal to use underwater robot
The maintenance of the reservoirs, which are integral parts of the water utility company, is the
company’s task. This job is performed by ’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ Zrt.’ twice a year according to an annual
maintenance plan including the cleaning of the surfaces of the reservoirs, equipment check-ups and
repairs after complete discharge of water from the reservoirs. To make this maintenance work more
effective pictures and videos should be taken prior to the maintenance procedure and experts should
Figure 5. The setup
The utility company would like to have information about the quality of the surfaces of the reservoirs
without unnecessary discharge of water from the reservoirs. Should any repairs be made, based on
prior examinations, the possible long term maintenance job can be planned and prepared by the
company. With the archived records of the regular examinations, photos and videos can be compared
so that the planning of more extensive maintenance jobs can be more cost effective. The lifetime of
reservoirs can also be determined.
Figure 6. The first mission
General needs supported by the water utility company
The water production-, water purification-, drinking water distribution systems typically have the raw
water, purified water with low or high reservoirs. These reservoirs like any other infrastructures of
water supply needs to be maintained and monitored.
Figure 7. – The Cyclops in the reservoirs
The reservoirs’ surfaces needs to be repaired or completely renovated because of the time and the
quality of the surfaces.
The ’ NYÍRSÉGVÍZ Zrt.’ maintains the low and high reservoirs twice a year. These maintenances
are for cleaning these reservoirs as well as checking the conditions of the surfaces. Before the
maintenance the water is discharged from the reservoirs. After that experts go into the reservoirs and
they execute the cleaning and condition checking duty. The necessity to repair the surfaces are mainly
recognised during these maintenances. The main goal of these maintenances is to clean the surfaces.
It’s not about completely repairing or renovating every little problems that do not affect the quality
of water, but rather the investigation of them.
The preparation for the repair of the surfaces that does not affect the quality of water could only
happen after the annual maintenance is done and the reservoirs are filled and started up.
The project gives a chance for the service to plan the repairs, renovations at the time the maintenance
is done by the annual plan. 2 thing opens up by this opportunity:
1. Preparation for the job by an accurate study
2. A minimum of one reservoir’s discharge/fill is saved
An accurate study is essential to make the duty professional. This study is necessary to choose the
proper type of surface treatment and to choose the perfect material quality. In addition, you can
calculate the amount of time which is needed for the task due to the pieces of information given,
which can greatly affect the starting time.
The saving by the discharge/fill of the reservoirs is not just an economic but an environmental
question as well. Every water utility company wants to use the stock of water that is available in the
In the following, I will show you the cost and quantity analysis of the discharge/fill of our project’s
A 500 cubic meters reservoir , preparation for the operation equal 400 cubic meters of clean water.
The staff have to pump the water through iron sludge settling reservoir to the affiliated reservoir. The
study is done by 3 experts. One of them monitors the main pump and the automatics while the other
2 take pictures and videos of the reservoirs’ surface. This usually takes 1,5 hour. The discharge is
done by a gravitational way. While the reservoir fills up, the water goes through filters and the process
is done by the raw water making submerged pump.
Service’s requirement in connection with the project
In order to reach the goal of the project, the robot has to go into the reservoirs under operating
conditions. This means a continuous clean water flow into the reservoir from the water cleaning
facility and also to the distribution system through the mains pumps. With these conditions, only a
sterilized tool can get into the water. Not only the robot but the cables for controlling it and the signal
transmission cable also needs to be sterilized. To achieve these conditions you have to follow these
The expert who goes into the reservoir is required to own a valid health examination.
Experts have to wear the protective suit of the company
Make a 30% hypoclorid tincture solution
The robot needs to be sprinkled by this tincture
The reaction time has to be 5 minutes
The cable which controls the robot has to be guided through the solution container while it is
Show of the Technical information
The pictures and videos taken by the robot have to meet the expectations so that these pieces of
information could be used to determine the condition of the container To achieve these expectations,
mobility, zoom support and proper lightning is indispensable. Furthermore, the engines shouldn’t
make high turbulences in the reservoir. It is really important because there are operating conditions
during test in the reservoirs, so turbid water mustn’t be present in the distribution system. The pictures
and videos which were taken have to be portable and have to be able to be used again any time.
During the survey, 400 cubic meters of clean water is wasted. To produce 400 cubic meters of water
3 deep-drilling wells and a 21 kWh electric submerged pump is needed. With 1650 l/min water output
the wells can produce the water in 4 hours. The monitored waterworks’ unit cost is 172,3 HUF/m3
and thus the cost of the unused water is 68 920 HUF2. Three experts performed the study. With the
2 1 EUR = 310 HUF
preparation and the storage of the pictures and videos the whole study takes up 2 hours. The cost of
living labour is 22 500 HUF.
Having used 500 cubic meters’ reservoir, the technical preparation of surface reconstruction, site
survey of 400 cubic meters of unused clean water and further 91 420 HUF is wasted.
’NYÍRSÉGVÍZ Zrt.’ operates a 15 400 cubic meters of high water and a 22450 cubic meters of low
APPENDIX - Underwater Cyclops
Body and the power unit
4mm wide aluminium or POM plastic, the diameter is 140mm, which is 370mm long. The
power unit support frame is 10mm wide aluminium or POM material, which is connected to
the body. 10-10 screws in the back and the front wall with core end sleeves. M6 screws and
self-locking nut to the constriction. the gasket contains a 3mm diameter O ring, which has a
groove. In the body there are 2 rails which included the control panel. The panel is completely
10x20mm aluminium. It consists of slivered components, 4 pieces of M8 screws.
Camera window and back wall
It made 3-4mm wide plexi material, which contains holes and a groove.
Camera and light
Rotatable IP camera (can rotate about 160 degree) with two axis. 7W LED Angel eye around
Modified bilge pump. The socket was made from POM material.
The external power supply is 12V, and transported with a 8-10 core cable. A cable reel is able
to roll up and down the cable. The is a separate joy-stick controller. The camera is ensuring
live streaming to a computer.
Computer designed ROV models
The control electronics are based on Arduino Yun microcontroller. There is 5 power unit
which is powered by a 12V and 2200mAh battery and controlled by 5 L298N motor drivers. The
arduino sends 1 or 0 to the motor driver (1=5V and 0=GND). If the motor driver gets 5V the bridge
circuit opens, and the motor turns on. We used an angel eye, because the camera needed more light
to stream nice video. The angel eye is powered by 12V, so we need a relay to control it. We used an
Ethernet cable to control the ROV. The cable is connected to the laptop. We can control the ROV
with a joy-stick, via the main program. We can store any information in the microSD, card modul.
We need a tank that disinfect the Cyclops and the Ethernet cable, because we would like to
use the ROV in clear water.
There are three 25mm wide rolling cylinder, and the Ethernet cable goes through between the rollers.
The tank is fill with 30% hypochlorite tincture. The tank is 750mm wide and 350mm long.
A long-term analysis of water demand
(How long will the world's water resources last?) (Article)
(Water supply and wastewater management)
Water purification https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_purification
Arduino Yun https://www.arduino.cc/
Truly Portable Submersible Robots
Build an Underwater Robot
My undervater robot
József Tóbiás engineer design and mounting
András Krajecz – plant manager of sewage treatment plant
Péter Hüse – plant manager of the water supply plant of Kisvárda
György Falck CEO Varinex ZRT – 3D printing
Károly Vass technical teacher – mounting (NYSZC Bánki Donát Polytechnical School)
Sándor Mizsák technical teacher – mounting (NYSZC Bánki Donát Polytechnical School)
Sándor Vízi technical teacher – welding (NYSZC Bánki Donát Polytechnical School)
Zsálya Borbála Zsigó - Logo design
Zsolt Zsigó – mentor (NYSZC Bánki Donát Polytechnical School)