I went out with the local council for a demo trial today. The brief was to scout for a mooring site in a marine reserve for the public to use instead of dropping anchors.
here are my conclusions…
1 - The rov performed well in 30m of water but still i find the tether twist affecting its stable horizon at times. For me, the importance of moving tether to center rear of the rov instead of coming off one side, to reduce tether influence.
2 - I need to use a tether reel to reduce twists being introduced by coiling.
3 - This is specific to small councils in NZ. They prefer video, data and analysis as a package as they do not have the resources to process the information fully, themselves. I need to use matlab or (recommendations please) and extract useful data from the dive logs. Develop a sensor array to be installed on payload skid. Another camera (low light??? or independently recording camera as backup) to complement the one on rov now. SEE No. 5 below.
4 - GPS positioning system for mapping and survey. Comment was, that GPS is needed for accurate data gathering. Visual survey of bottom by compass bearing is a skill, i believe, that takes hours to get good at. There is no way of knowing if you have covered the same distance as the last track done. Boat drift and current complicate survey immensely. Anchor use can be an issue over significant benthic sites.
5 - Check the damn position of mouse pointer on laptop screen. I obviously bumped the touchpad during dive and because the mouse pointer was still over the record button, it turned off. No WORDS describe the pain of losing an hour of video that you would have given to client. The record button in QGC, would be better if it changed color and blinked while recording so a quick glance would confirm recording. Or auto record when rov is armed.
6 - Take the hit and learn the hard lessons so i can move forward, even though my credibility just got sucked into a black hole in a small local market.
My confidence in the BR2 development is still strong. It was considered a potentially capable tool and impressed even though i spiraled around the black hole.
Bottom line, give the client what they need by developing robust systems for operation so i don’t find myself in this position again.
These are my observations from my experiences. Make what you want from this…