Simplifying the electronics stack


Hi. I built a ROV a couple years back, and am looking to evolve it to have onboard batteries, longer/lighter tether, and better sensors. You can see my old build here: (with a video of a dive in Monterey Bay here:

In looking over the OpenROV option and thinking about how to customize it to my style, I'm confused about why the OpenROV microcontroller is needed. That is, why can't the Beaglebone black take the video signal and also send the information to the servos. (with some limited electronic circuits for voltage conversion, etc.)

Likewise, I'll likely use the beaglebone black on the surface unit. I prefer this to having a laptop in an aquatic environment.

Here is my current planned schematic:

I'd love to get any feedback/thoughts on all this.



Hi Matt:

The use of a separate microcontroller (the Arduino-Mega equivalent) on OROV for all the low-level I/O makes programming much easier. One processor to handle all the low-level stuff, and a second processor to do the video compression and web server stuff.

You can probably integrate all this into one processor, but I'm guessing that in the long run you'll find that various programming troubles will outweigh any electronic complexity savings. Still, it's a worthwhile experiment. Keep us posted on how your efforts evolve.