Use OpenROV electronics without video?



What would be involved if I wanted to use the OpenROV electronics, sensors, and software, but not the video? Is this even possible? What components wouldn’t I need and how would I need to modify the software to do this? Has anyone else tried this?



When you say you want to use the software, but without the video, do you mean without the Cockpit interface? Technically, the hardware/sensors can be interfaced with over the serial port, which can be accessed using the various serial port tools available on Linux from the Beaglebone. There shouldn’t need to be any software modifications made; just don’t run the cockpit software, lest you find yourself fighting with it for serial port access. You’ll have to hunt through the firmware to see what the various command messages and sensor messages are to learn how to talk to it, but it is possible. We are doing some work in the near future to make this sort of hacking/alternative control more accessible/easy to do, and with more documentation available.


I’m trying to avoid using webcams and the inherent lag caused by them and sending video over the network. Instead, I would use SD video up a single twisted pair using baluns and then OR hardware/software for controls and sensors only. I’m also hoping by doing this I might be able to take advantage of using a lower spec computer topside (such as a tablet). The alternative would be to take an Arduino, several shields, and write my own code which I’m also considering.


When it comes to physically not using the camera, all you need to do is unplug it from the Beaglebone and remove it from the pressure vessel, but you’ll need to sort out your own video solution in terms of getting a different camera inside the pressure vessel and making sure it is wired, powered, etc. Once disconnected, you can still use the cockpit and have access to all controls and sensor data, you’ll just have a black screen where the camera feed once was.


Thanks @charlesdc. I’m thinking of getting the developer’s kit but using it only for thruster control and sensors. Since I wouldn’t be using the HUD, could I modify the UI through a skin to be less “HUD-like”? Or would it be more complicated than that?