The SEAL-Pup is a water quality sampling device capable of taking samples automatically or under operator control at depths of up to 150 feet. The device is highly portable and able to take continuous real-time chemical measurements and water samples. The original design was prototyped in the course Engineering Design/Analysis for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Design of Products.
The team has identified many potential customers interested in using the product, including public agencies who monitor water quality, mining companies who need to remediate lakes they have polluted, public water companies, and environmental agencies. The final design has an operating depth of 1600 feet, acoustic triggering of solenoids, a microcontroller system, lateral thrusters, and video cameras.
Demonstrations of the SEAL-Pup gained interest in future commercial models from the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Navy. The team is made up of electrical engineering students and faculty.
For the past twenty-five years, Drexel's College of Engineering has required its students to take a Senior Project Design course, taught by a team of faculty from each engineering department save chemical engineering. Within the course, students work in teams, developing solutions to problems of practical and societal importance, while at the same time learning about intellectual property, ethics, professionalism, and design. What was missing from Drexel's Senior Project Design course, in the opinion of the professors, was an entrepreneurial component. With NCIIA funding, the engineering faculty team teaching the course were able to modify the class curriculum to include entrepreneurship by exposing students to entrepreneurial success stories from other engineers, and targeting E-Team projects with commercial potential for further project development.