Planning for Future Expansion


#1

Hi all,

Just wondering what kinds of customization other people are doing to their ROVs to expand their capabilities. I know there is talk about adding additional modules (a gripping arm is popular), but little discussion as to what modifications to the main ROV systems these would require. I know for my ROV I will be adding several (probably around six) extra wires leading into to the electronics tube so that I can control power flowing to up to three additional motors, lights, or even whole sensor modules as desired.


#2

This is a great point. I think the sensor module is definitely desired and needed. Someone brought up using short wave RF to communicate back the electronics tube, but I think the additional wiring and some type of standardized module is the right first step.

Please share what you come up with!


#3

One thing we’re looking at is a way to take advantage of GPS for a reliable and universal reference point. Unfortunately GPS doesn’t work underwater (or in caves), but could perhaps be incorporated through a small buoy tethered to the ROV itself (see http://hackaday.com/2008/03/13/underwater-gps-sorta/). I’m focusing on applications doing environmental research in remote waterways in the White Mountain National Forest, so I will be mostly launching from shore or through ice, where visual navigation may be difficult without a reference point.


#4

The GPS is tough. I've seen the VideoRay Smart Tether in action and it's incredibly useful.

We've talked about different ways to dead reckon using accelerometer, gyro and pressure sensor, but currents remain a huge obstacle.

Bouy idea is good but runs into problems in caves or under ice.

Awesome Hackaday link!


#5

I think a good idea for expansion is having a I2C bus going out from the electronic chassis, and have expansion modules talk over the I2C bus.

But still to test if this is feasible or not...

Definitely a goal of the future version is allow expansions, but how to technically do it on the HW level is still under experimentation :)