Hole-y moley! We are pleased to announce the latest addition to the Watertight Enclosure Series: 6″ Series and 8″ Series Aluminum End Caps with more holes! We’re also excited to announce a new 2″ Series Aluminum Tube with the greatest depth rating we’ve ever offered on an enclosure.
The 6″ Series now has a 15-hole end cap option, and the 8″ Series now has 15-hole and 25-hole options. These are perfect for projects where you need a lot of cable connections for a lot of sensors or other equipment. If you don’t need all of the holes, you can use blank penetrators to fill them in. We think these new end cap options are pretty cap-tivating 😉
Next up is a 5.9″, 150 mm Aluminum Tube for the 2″ Enclosure Series. The tubes were successfully tested in the #Crushinator to 1000 m, which is the currently rated depth. However, they’re designed to handle quite a bit more (potentially up to 2900m depth) but we don’t have an easy way to test that. These new tubes are available as an option for the 2″ Watertight Enclosure Series now!
They say it’s your birthday?! Well it’s the BlueROV2’s birthday, too, yeah! Today we are celebrating the BlueROV2’s first cycle around the sun with the release of two of its components: the Electronics Enclosure and the Fairing.
The Beatles with their two favorite underwater vehicles (probably).
Are you building an ROV with a custom frame but wish you had all the brains of the BlueROV2? That is now possible! The BlueROV2 Enclosure comes with all of the electronics included in the Advanced Electronics Kit, as well as 6 pre-wired BlueROV2 Basic 30A ESCs.
Hey there, friends! We’ve got an energizing new product today- a Lithium Battery Charger perfect for our high capacity Lithium-ion Battery (14.8V, 18Ah)! This 300W charger can charge at up to 20A, so it can charge our battery in 1-2 hours at the recommended 10A charge rate, while still having plenty of headroom for even larger batteries.
This charger can be powered by 100-240V AC wall power, or a 10-28V DC power supply, so it has plenty of flexibility wherever you may be. With built in balancing and discharge capability, your batteries of any chemistry can safely be kept in top condition for maximum performance and lifespan!
We’re delighted to expand the line-up of watertight enclosures. These larger enclosures are perfect for those of you who need to keep a lot of stuff dry! We’re looking at you, AUVSI teams 😉 As with the rest of the enclosure series, the housings will be configurable and customizable with both aluminum and acrylic end cap options. Custom length tubes won’t be readily available, but don’t hesitate to let us know if you have a specific need. All of the components are available separately – the possibilities are nearly end(cap)less! Okay, that was a bit of a stretch…
The 6″ Series enclosures are rated to 65m and the 8″ Series enclosures are rated to 40m. We decided to measure their capacity by stuffing them with one of our favorite things: T100 Thrusters. You may also be able to spy a 3″ aluminum battery tube inside the 8″ enclosure.
6″ Enclosure (left) and 8″ Enclosure (right).
New Version of the Basic ESC
As you may have heard, the manufacturer of the Afro 30Amp ESC has ceased production of the model we currently sell, so we’ve been forced to switch to a slightly smaller version. We’ve added a heatsink to allow for the same current-handling capability. This version also have bare power leads instead of male 3.5mm bullet connectors.
Hey there, friends! We are deeply excited to announce today’s new product: aluminum tubes for the 3″ Series and 4″ Series Watertight Enclosures. These aluminum tubes have significantly greater depth ratings, better heat transfer to the water, and a hard anodized black finish. Both tubes are bored out from the inside for optimal wall thickness and to reduce the enclosure weight. The 3″ Series tube is rated for 500 meters (1640 ft) and the 4″ Series is rated for 400 meters (1312 ft).
Both tubes are available now (in fairly limited quantity initially) separately and as options in the watertight enclosure configuration pages.
Please note that the 3″ Series tube is 8.75″ long, just like the battery tube on the BlueROV2. Both of these tubes are drop in replacements for the enclosure tubes on the BlueROV2. We’ll get into more details on that once we’ve done more testing at depth!
2D drawing showed the bored out inside diameter to decrease weight and optimize depth rating.
As you may have seen on our social media, we have a new pressure test chamber, the #Crushinator!! The Crushinator will be able to reach pressures equivalent to 1000 meters underwater and will take our products to a whole new level of performance, reliability, and integrity. It can fit an entire BlueROV2 inside for testing!
Last week, we took a prototype aluminum 3″ Series enclosure to about 750m before imploding. That’s nearly 5 times the depth rating of the clear acrylic enclosure! Check out The Crushinator’s first victim below. RIP.
Today we have a very special new product announcement. We’re partnering with Water Linked, a Norwegian company, and announcing the release of a revolutionarily low-cost Underwater GPS system. This new product, the Water Linked Underwater GPS Developer Kit combines a traditional GPS receiver and compass with an acoustic positioning system to provide positioning information underwater. We think this technology will be revolutionary to how we use ROVs.
We’re partnering with Water Linked as their first and only distributor for this system, and it will also be supported out of the box in ArduSub and the BlueROV2.
The Water Linked positioning uses something called Short Baseline (SBL) acoustic positioning. Basically, the ROV has locator beacon that sends out an acoustic pulse. Near the surface, there are four receiver hydrophones lowered into the water. The hydrophones listen for the pulse from the locator beacon and use difference in the time-of-arrival to each receiver to triangulate the ROV’s position. SBL systems, compared to the USBL systems more often used on ROVs, have the advantage of working well in shallow water and noisy acoustic environments, such as in a fish cage.
Once the position is known relative to the receivers, the global position can be found by adding that to the position obtained by a GPS receiver. The Water Linked Underwater GPS system does that part internally so that it can provide the actual global position of the ROV as it’s output.
Why It’s Important
The addition of position information when operating an ROV or other marine robotic vehicle is a big change. It means that photos from inspections can be geotagged, targets with known coordinates can be found easily, and ROV can even be programmed to do autonomous actions, such as holding position in a current or following a set of GPS waypoints.
The Water Linked Underwater GPS Developer Kit
Today were launching the Underwater GPS system in a kit that includes all of the required hardware. The software is in a functional state already, but will be improved quite a bit over the next few months. That includes the addition of a well-documented API, performance improvements, and added features. The system includes everything you need to get started – check out the individual product pages for more details, datasheets, and info.
Orders can be placed today but please note that the first systems won’t ship until about June 15th of this year.
We often hear about the lack of clean water in third world countries, but the issue becomes much more relevant when it hits close to home. For residents of the United States, the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan has raised awareness and has influenced countless investigations of other water sources. We might assume water source monitoring is a given – especially when not done properly, the effects have potential to cause serious health issues for surrounding communities. The disaster has called attention to neglected water infrastructure nationwide, and with this new understanding comes new solutions to solving these problems.
Poor water infrastructure is not the only cause of water pollution; sometimes accidents happen. In 2015, while working on a project to treat the water of the Cement Creek in Colorado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mine waste. Fortunately, city managers were able to shunt off the reservoir in time to avoid contamination. The event motivated students at nearby Fort Lewis College to develop a robotic system capable of effective and efficient aquatic monitoring, just in case a similar accident were to happen without any obvious signs that would allow for a quick reaction.
Kayakers in the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, after the spill. Credit: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP
The ASVs collect data regarding the physical properties, including pH levels, temperature, and salinity. The information is reported in near real time to local resource managers and is also publicly accessible. This allows for a quick response time to quality concerns, and also encourages public engagement through educational outreach and citizen scientist programs. Jacob and his team “created ASVs instead of sensor nodes so that [they] can also use them for robotics research while monitoring the reservoir. Fort Lewis College is starting a robotics and computer engineering program, so the hope is that future students will be using these vehicles as part of their college education.”
1 of 3 ASVs, equipped with T200s.
As we continue to alter our planet, water quality monitoring becomes more and more essential. With the use of marine robotic vehicles, we become better equipped to prevent such environmental disasters and clean water becomes a much more achievable goal. Clean water for everyone!
For more on Jacob’s project, check out the following link and the following paper, which goes into much more detail!
By: Jonathan N., Mechanical Engineer at Blue Robotics
Hey guys! Since we started shipping BlueROV2s in August of 2016, we have been making improvements to the kit to make it easier and less time consuming to assemble. We have been incorporating some of the improvements quietly as we went, but we have made a couple of big changes that we would like you to know about.
First we have updated the assembly instructions to reflect the fact that much less assembly is required on your end. The new instructions are 35% shorter than the old instructions! Here’s everything that has changed. Some of these changes happened months ago and some of them happened recently.
ArduSub 3.4 (stable version) comes preinstalled on the Pixhawk.
Our recommended parameters come preinstalled on the Pixhawk.
ArduSub Raspbian comes loaded on the SD card for the Raspberry Pi 3.
The Fathom-X Tether Interface board comes installed on the electronics tray and all of the wiring has been completed.
The Raspberry Pi and Pixhawk come installed on the electronics tray with most of the wiring completed.
The Pixhawk Power Module is installed and the wiring is completed.
The ESCs now come with all of the wiring completed.
Three of the thrusters now come with the counter-clockwise propellers pre-installed.
The camera, Pixhawk, Raspberry Pi, and Fathom-X connections have all been tested.
Hello everyone, we’re pleased to announce that the ArduSub project has merged with ArduPilot! This is a momentous occasion for the ArduSub project, with our two main developers, Jacob and Rusty, both becoming members of the ArduPilot development team. ArduSub is the first new vehicle type since the addition of ArduBoat in 2011, and is the first to take the ArduPilot project underwater!
We’ve been looking forward to seeing this since the start of ArduSub!
There are many benefits of developing ArduSub further as a part of the ArduPilot project:
Our code will always be up to date with the latest library developments and bugfixes.
Our code will regularly undergo a thorough automated validation, including simulated dives and builds for multiple autopilot platforms.
Our build system will be automated, and the latest firmware binary will be automatically updated and made available for download on firmware.ardupilot.org.
Our documentation will be updated and migrated to the ArduPilot wiki, and our vehicle parameters will be documented and automatically updated when our code changes.
Our contributions to the code will also receive peer reviews from the world-class team of developers of the ArduPilot team.
Further, ArduSub development and the latest ArduSub code will now be found in the ArduPilot repository. ArduPilot and ArduSub are currently undergoing a rapid development process, and we expect to have a new stable release in April with some great new features and support for additional hardware!
Thanks for joining us on this development. If you’re interested in contributing to the ArduSub project, let us know!
Today we’re especially charged up to announce a new product that has been highly requested for some time! We now have available a custom made high capacity lithium-ion battery made specifically for the BlueROV2!
Check out the New Product Video on Youtube:
Lithium-ion Battery (14.8V, 18Ah)
With its massive 18Ah capacity, this 4S 14.8V battery will allow you to run your BlueROV2 for around 4 hours at moderate load, almost twice as long as previously possible with a 10Ah battery. We’re especially proud of the build quality of this battery, the 18650 cells it is comprised of are known to be exceptionally high performing and very safe.
Take a look at the results of our moderate to heavy load case. With gain set to 25% and 4 lights at 1/4 brightness, the battery powered the BlueROV2 for well over 3 hours! With almost constant depth and heading hold interrupted by periods of heavy full throttle use, this represents a realistic in field use.
The notable high capacity of this battery means that it is subject to stricter shipping regulations than our other products. At over 266Wh, it has almost triple the energy of the maximum allowable laptop battery that can be transported on a passenger aircraft! In addition to a hazardous goods shipping surcharge, at the moment we are also only able to ship this battery to a select number of countries:
United States of America
We’re working on expanding this list to include most of Europe and a few other countries. We hope to be able to do that within a few weeks.
We’ve got some more product announcements coming soon that we think will generate quite the buzz! That’s all for now!