Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mama didn't raise no pool

Hey everybody!

So after Danny's solo work on the ROV, the team decided it was time to do a water test.  Most of the team was able to get together the day after Independence Day at the home of some lovely friends of ours (thanks Hatches!) and test in their pool.



Perching peacefully before plunging into the clear blue

We booted her up and tested the camera, lights, motors - everything worked.  She's on and ready to go.  Check it out!

View of the pool from the onboard cam.  

We've got live video from the ROV and everything is in working order.  So here it is.  The moment we have all been waiting for.


The ROV is going under for her maiden voyage.  



Dunk!


Thar she blows

Woo!  We have live underwater video of the pool from the ROV!
I can tell you, the team was pretty excited.  We cheered and Danny flew her around the pool.  Awesome! But first thing we all noticed - the buoyancy wasn't quite right - she rose straight up, nose up, immediately after dunking.  It's important to balance the buoyancy of the ROV - flying up and down can burn through our battery needlessly, so we talked about ways to balance it out.

Pulled her back up - let's fix this buoyancy



And Richard contributed an interesting way of zeroing out that buoyancy:

Science can ball on a budget too.  Why not tape some rocks to the battery tubes?

So we taped the ROV down with some rocks to even it out and tried it again.

We toss it in and - Ruh Oh.  

OH NO WHAT HAVE WE DONE


Just kidding.  Did I scare you?  No, the rocks didn't crash our ROV.  They worked out eventually, although it took a few tries to get it right.  No - the latency we first noticed has now become much more pronounced, and motor control commands are either going sporadically or not at all.  The ROV DID fly around a bit, but never for long before shorting out.

We pulled the ROV out and checked for leaks, and saw none.  Although there was a slight bit of condensation inside one of the battery tubes, it was slight enough that we weren't convinced it was the problem.  


So sadly, we had to call an end to the test to come back and lab the ROV again to see what was up.

Next post, Danny will be explaining some problems we found with the ROV and what we need to do to fix them - check back soon for that story, more pics, and as always thanks for reading the blog!