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Depth Controllable Tow Cam

Hi All

I set about making the the simplest ROV I could think of using just BR components and realised what I had done on the way there was create a depth controllable tow cam. At the

moment it is in a 6" tube but am working on trying to squeeze it into a 4" tube. One of the things I really like with this configuration is that it frees up some of the Pixhawk channels for other motors. I have covered the electronics for now as there is a bit more going on in there than I am ready to reveal at the moment.

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exciting project. will there be any light on it ??

Once I have tested the 4" tube version thoroughly, I will then work out how to put lights on it. At this stage, I am thinking it may be possible to put the Cree lamps and PCBs for the lights inside the tube but will wait and see just how complicated the rest of the wiring is before I attempt that.

Does the tow line keep the pitch under control? I can see that thruster configuration doing OK with roll stabilization but unless the thrusters rotate or you have a movable weight inside the tube it seems like pitch control would be challenging.

Is that cutout for a camera? A wide config like that would be great for a stereo vision setup.

Hi Matt

The positioning of the anchor points on the end caps keeps the pitch and therefore camera angle aiming in pretty much the direction and angle I want with that being variable according to boat speed and tether length. Plus the camera has the normal gimbal movement to help that. You are correct that the cut out is where the camera is. It would indeed be great fro stereoscopic vision with one at the other end. However, I am much more intent on using the free Pixhawk channels to control motors on some of the implements I have designed and the camera being offset from the centre point seems to give me a better view.
As you have more less guessed, there is an internal weight adjustment mechanism that does give me pitch control and in fact makes the unit a very compact skid steer ROV with only lateral movement missing. I am considering adding 2 more thrusters with all 4 thrusters at 30 degrees to give me full lateral as well.

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