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General question(s)about all of this!

I’m not sure I am in the right place. If not I apologize.

Where do I begin?

I am new to ROV’s, which have fascinated me to the point that I am ready to jump in with both feet. So much so, that I was looking to purchase or build my own ROV. I have researched 100’s and 100’s of sites, blogs, articles, etc. to do my due diligence. In doing this, I recently stumbled onto the Blue ROV 2 site. My original plans was to build a simple ROV with a camera and simple electronic controls. However the engineer in me wants to go beyond and learn more and advanced technology. My dream is to one day soon have a small business or volunteer organization to work with local Fire / rescue and law enforcement with underwater SAR and evidence collection. Having spent over 20 years in a fire department, I understand the issues that face departments with having resources to perform these duties, and the difficulties that hinder these operations at a scene. I believe that in order to do this kind of work requires high tech equipment with the functions necessary to fulfil the operation.

As I stated above, I stumbled onto the BLUE ROV 2 site recently and was very intrigued as to the possibility of having a quality ROV to do what I wish to do. I have many questions about both BLUE ROV 2 and the ARDUSUB system. I went to the blog and also have begun to read the Introduction on www.ardusub.com

What I was hoping for is to simply communicate with someone (or many others) as to exactly what this ARDUSUB is and how it applies to Blue ROV2 ( or if I would like to design my own unit.)

I hope that there are good people on this forum that have the patience to answer a noob’s questions (probably mostly dumb questions), without giving an attitude of how much better they are at ROV and controls.

I am willing to take the time to learn about new things and do my homework, but I believe that if someone has already done it, and is willing to share, I can spend my time looking into the unknowns.

Thanking all in advance.
Dan

Hi @Medemt welcome to the community and the forums!

Like any good engineer, you have been doing the right thing by researching all the reference material out there and understanding the system before purchasing your components.

As an answer to your original question, the ArduSub.com website is all the reference documentation for the control system. I would still recommend starting from the top and reading the manual in its entirety.

The section on Building a Vehicle Frame gives a good overview of how to start when selecting or building a hardware frame. Think of the BlueROV2 as a “reference frame” with all of the components to get started easily.

Let us know what specific questions you may have and either the community or BR staff would be happy to help!

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Ardu-sub is the firmware that runs on the Pixhawk autopilot to control an ROV (like the BlueROV2). Other versions preceded it (Ardu-copter for drones, ardu-rover for ground vehicles).

Buying a BlueROV2 from BlueRobotics is probably the best option for someone who wants to do SAR work. It’s portable and with the addition of the Ping360 unit even usable in murky water.

For quick reliable deployment i’d get a small used camper. Keep the ROV and control system locked up inside, connected to shore power to keep everything charged and ready to go. Get a call, hitch up and drive to site. You’d have bathroom facilities and a warm/dry shelter/clothes in case it was raining. Perhaps carry a Zodiac inflatable if you think there won’t be a boat available.

Keep in mind that almost all these ROV’s are hobby-level ‘toys’. Being light enough to pick up, they are constantly getting jerked around by the tether and currents to the point that it’s hard to look at any object for long. The software/firmware is being constantly developed and is therefore buggy, the gripper is a joke (try picking up a soda can with your arm in a cast and two friends pulling/pushing you around randomly).

My desire is to have a comfortable platform where i can operate an ROV in an environment I cannot reliably survive/ enjoy. To provide charters for the marine biology/ archaeology department of a university exploring long-submerged terrain. And to do the odd job in a SAR capacity (usually only to provide closure to a grieving family of a drowning victim).

I have designs for a hyper-expanding cabin-style pontoon boat (goes down the road 28’x7’x8’, expands to 28’x20’ with a fully-enclosed 14x20 control room, kitchenette/ bathroom, and 14x20 moon pool ROV deployment room, with a double-carriage gantry crane to deploy two chest-freezer-sized ROV’s. ROV’s have onboard batteries, (2) 9-dof manipulators, LED lighting, 8 cameras each, adjustable buoyancy/ ballast, etc.

Fully designed from the joystick interface, through the computer down the tether to the ROV’s super-flexible and strong manipulators. I have a full fab shop and the ability to build everything. It’s just vaporware at the moment, no funds available and i’m a lousy salesman. My first large ROV and topside computer/ tether disappeared when my storage unit was burgled in Arkansas.

Darrell,
Thank you for the reply. It really looks like you are more ambitious than I am at this point. I am looking at not only BlueROV2 (heavy), but a number of other types that have some features that could be very useful in SAR.

I do like the concept of your design. One of the things that I would like to have that I have not seen on a Blue ROV2 unit is the multi axis manipulators. Two would be nice. Does Ardusub handle this. Where do you get those type of manipulators or do you know of a DYI build out there.

If money was no object, I would look at the concept you have for launching. I had giving a very little thought to having my small boat equipped with a lift of some kind, but the ROV could not be very heavy (unless I got a bigger boat). Sure the wife would OK that!.

Any further info you are willing to share on your design, I would love to look at it. I enjoy seeing some of the things people that have doing this, can come up with.

Thanks again,

Dan