Last weekend I took my newly completed ROV for its very first test at my relative's pool. I had told them about my "underwater robot", but they were not sure what to expect. Based on their reactions, I could tell there were very eager to see it in action.
At first my ROV would not connect to my computer. I spent a long time looking over everything and taking things apart to find that the problem was an oversight of forgetting to plug in the wires to the home-plug adapter.
Now, I could finally test my ROV. This was either a sink or swim situation. If it sunk I would have lost all the hard work I had put into it and if it stayed afloat I would have the satisfaction of a job well done.
I slowly lowered my ROV into the water. My grandparents took out their cameras and waited anxiously. The moment could have not been any more suspenseful. I could only think that the moment I placed it in the pool, water was burst in and swallow my helpless ROV. However, this was not what happened. IT FLOATED!!! I was extremely glad that it worked and my family cheered. I drove it around and that also worked. Although it was hard to drive. This was either, because only some of the ESCs were successfully programmed or the motors were connected wrong, but it still WORKED!!! I drove it around a little longer, until something terribly wrong happened.
The motors became slow and eventually stopped responding. My ROV slowly sunk. I looked on my screen and I lost connection to my camera. In a frantic, I looked at my submerged ROV and saw it's dying heartbeat. The lights on the home-plug adapter and BBB slowly flickered out. My worst fear had come true. I quickly pulled it out of the water and inspected the ROV for water-damage.
Since it was late at night, I only saw some mist in the tube. I was confused how this could have caused the problem, until I saw about 3 inches of water at the bottom. I opened it up and water gushed out.
I immediately jumped into action and felt like I was part of emergency response. I dried everything off. I believe the problem originated from the syringes, but I am not sure.
All in all, I learned a lot that night like paying close attention to detail. Now I have a chance to go back and make my ROV more robust and a more secure machine. Surprisingly, the only thing that I believe does not work is the controller board everything else seems to be working. I am going to do more tests on my parts and waterproofing the enclosure. I have a lot to do so I am going to get started.
Dive footage (I have to figure out how to save footage from the ROV, so I recorded on the surface)
After early tests earlier today
Photo from completed project