OpenROV – The Open Source Underwater Robot
The cute little robot that’s here to make anyone a Do-It-Yourself Ocean explorer, idealized by Eric Stackpole and created by OpenROV. It’s built for general public use and is subsequently very easy to operate!
This robot weighs 2.5 kilos and is designed for depths up to 100m, perfect for beginners in underwater exploration. The control interface is very user friendly as it just involves a keyboard for control and monitor for the video feed. The development team is currently working on USB gamepad support and this should gamify things to a certain extent once released. Support for controlling OpenROV over the internet will also be added later.
The design is fairly simple, a single transparent waterproof tube houses all the electronics and other hydrophobic equipment. The tube is mounted on a rotatable platform. This allows for greater viewing angles. This arrangement is housed in the main body that contains the thrusters.
OpenROV has a modular design and most of the components can be replaced if they get damaged. OpenROV can also be assembled from scratch with the DIY kit available to people who’ve donated a certain amount to the project.
With two thrusters at the back and one at the top for horizontal and vertical movement respectively it manages a speed of 1m/s underwater. The thruster design is being improved and higher speeds should be possible soon. It runs for about 8 hours on 8 on-board C batteries.
OpenROV could prove useful in many environmental and maritime study projects. River and natural water body pollution monitoring, ocean exploration and marine life study are some of the places with OpenROV could be used. The importance of this project has been widely recognized and it has raised a whooping $111,000 which is more than 5 times their goal of $20,000.
If you’re excited about this project and want to donate or know more then head on to the Kickstarter page,