Getting Rid of Tether


How about getting rid of the tether entirely using autonomous circuitry and a redundant power source? This would be useful for divers as photo bots, or light bots to swarm around the diver and perform a function(taking photos, lighting an area for work, perhaps even taking items to the surface). When power runs low, or the task is complete they return to a specified location, or pop a buoy.


I see (at least) two potential problems:

  1. Positioning: as mentioned in other threads, having the ROV know where it is in relation to the world, or even the other end of it's tether, isn't easy.
  2. AI - the current state of untethered AI takes more processing power than can currently be packed into such a small case.

That said, a lot of work is being done in these areas, so maybe we'll eventually get there.


Thanks for the reply! I plan an early 'retirement' in the next few months.....would love to assist in your work. I have been very interested in the swarming technology of some of the smaller non aquatic bots, and may be able to bring some different viewpoints and design ideas to the table. I am a certified diver, and would be willing to jump through almost any hoops to be able to work in this field.


you're welcome... although it's not 'my work' yet. I just signed up to the project, although I do hope to contribute to it eventually.

#5 if we can tag sharks and other marine life, why can't the same thing be used in the ROV?


Still thinking about this....the technology that tags marine life and satellite technology. Global positioning. Also, what is the maximum radio waves can transmit underwater?


I know that at least for whales, the tracking tags only work when the animal comes to the surface.

I don't know the exact numbers, but radio doesn't travel far underwater - inches, if not millimeters. If radio was going to work, submarines wouldn't have to be close enough to the surface to stick an antenna up into the air.


I've checked, and the maximum is 100 meters, practically 20 meters. Which at first would seem impractical for deep water use, however I have some ideas I'd like to game?


Also, would it be possible to fly out to San Francisco and help test the things? It would be a great adventure for me, and I would most certainly buy one, possibly several if they are viable. Maybe donate additional funds to the effort as well....


that's further than i thought. but i'm not an expert by any stretch. i'm just an interested outsider like yourself.


Check out this link about underwater radio signals, Marius Antares.


I'll give it a read ASAP. What are thoughts on paying the project a visit, donations..etc. I plan on visiting Seattle soon and it would be a great trip to hit San Francisco and do some ROV diving. I'm just a huge fan of what you all are doing and would like to get involved in some way. Even if it is just for a few days.


Try out Monterey Bay for scuba or ROV diving. It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth underwater and above. Plus there's a deep sea canyon just offshore.


Hey Marius!
We're in the SF Bay Area. We mostly work out of a garage in Cupertino. We're spending a lot of time on production of the Kickstarter orders at the moment. Testing whenever we can/need. Please let us know if you're in the area - it'd be great to meet you. More exciting testing and adventures planned for early 2013, so that may be a good time.



That MIT link is about acoustic signaling not radio. Acoustic links can give kb/s rates if you have enough software and computing power (& money) but can not do real time video.


This is great! I would love to assist in putting the things together and testing if you have the need. At the very least I'd like to purchase one and possibly donate some money to the project. I have a background in electronics and am a diver with my own equipment. Iam also semi retired at the moment. How about something in early to mid Oct?


My apologies. There is a famous oceanographer who is doing work creating an "interactive ocean". I suggest looking him up as well. His name is John Delaney.


Dr. Delaney's work seems to be for cabled systems. The only live video bandwidth uncabled underwater method I have heard of is blue-green lasers, and that costs megabucks.

We would all love to hear of another way, or a way to squeeze laser communications into a hobby class ROV budget, but don't hold your breath.


What is the current workable distance underwater? Not theoretical but actual...


For lasers I think a few years ago they were hoping for 100m of seawater. They were talking about shooting a beam from a satellite or helicopter through the air into the water to a submarine. The space and air distance was trivial. All the difficulty was in going through the water. I think the sub could talk back at reduced bandwidth.

I don't know how far they really got.