Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ROV Update #2: The Thrusters

This will be a quick one.

For a few weeks I've been working on the general plan for the ROV, and demoing various strategies for collecting video and temperature data, and sending signals to it from a computer.  Recently, I though, I moved on to working on the thrusters.  These are ducted propellers which propel the ROV through the water.

This kind of design is pretty complicated.  The shape of a propeller isn't easy to calculate or just guess, and propellers aren't easy to build either.  Fortunately, there has been a lot of open-source development on other projects, which will likely be the topic of my next ROV update.

Based on what others have found, I purchased the following propeller:

I also bought a motor to drive it.  The next step is to buy an electronic speed controller (ESC) that will deliver power to the motor as commanded by and arduino micro controller.  Before I buy the ESC, though, I need to make some decisions about what kind of battery this is going to use.  I have some ideas based on other projects, but I'd like to consider a few options before I make a final decision.

So that's the plan right now: select a battery, then start building the thrusters, and once I can control them from a laptop, build them into a waterproof frame and attach a housing for the electronics.

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