Wired comms to ArduRover (for underwater use)?

Has anyone used wired comms (not wireless) to their ArduRover project?  I'm looking at how I might use ArduRover for an underwater ROV and the first requirement will be that I communicate via a wire (preferably a single twisted pair).  The idea would be to use the Mission Planner to navigate the ROV on the water's surface to the desired location and then go into manual mode and dive underwater.

Another issue I'll also have to tackle will be how to modify the code for vertical thrust (to move the ROV up and down).

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  • @bigkahuna, I doubt it. The student has had several issues and this will probably push back the dates/outcome. Nevertheless, the student seems motivated and he's mentioned his will of continuing coding after the GSOC period ends.

    @Craig, there's no docs prepared yet. Code is not ready yet and needs to tested in hardware.

  • Hi everyone,

    There's an existing project that is porting the OpenROV code to APM supported by the Google Summer of Code: BeaglePilot 2.0. The code is being maintained at https://github.com/BeaglePilot2/ardupilot.

    Also see APM Submarine


    Contribute to BeaglePilot2/meta development by creating an account on GitHub.
    • Developer

      Victor, do you have some documentation on this work?


      APM Plane, APM Copter, APM Rover source. Contribute to BeaglePilot2/ardupilot development by creating an account on GitHub.
    • Admin


      Thanks for the info and the links.

      Looks good.

      How about starting a separate discussion thread for this Project?



    • Wow!  Looks awesome Victor.  How far a long is the project?  The schedule shows a completion sometime this month, is that likely to happen?

  • You know on subs, we used a towed array to for coms. It's basically an antenna with a float on it. I've been thinking about doing a submersible rover, and it's the cheapest thing I could think of. Bassically you can have 15 feet or what ever your max depth is on a clock spring reel. So as you go down the spool spring would fight the float to extend line. When it comes back up, it will wind on it's own, and it will give you a good visual indicator on the top of the water. 

    one last thought, a cheap tape measure guts might just work in that application. 

    • @Ben - That's actually been done.  But in my particular application the risk of snagging the wire would outweigh the benefit I think.  One advantage of having a tether is that if you get lost (and in poor visibility and no sonar that happens) you can always pull on the tether to retrieve the ROV.

    • Admin


      What do you plan to use for a tether?

      Presently Blue Robotics is using Cat 5 twisted pair cable, which is around 10mm in diameter, as they have their batteries in the ROV.

      One of the members on homebuiltrovs Link suggested using 1/4" Flexzilla air hose Link. This hose is extremely flexible. The Flexzilla hose is advertised as being able to lay flat right after uncoil and remain flexible even when it has been completely frozen.

      In some cases you might just want only two twisted pairs if you keep the batteries in the ROV. One twisted pair for communication and one for video.


      TCIII AVD  

      Homebuilt Rov Forum • View topic - ROVer
    • Normal Cat5e patch cord (stranded) is too weak IMO.  "Tactical" grade Cat5e is considerably tougher, and yes, stiffer.  Low cost, off the shelf, tether cable is pretty hard to find.  You either have to buy excess stock from a manufacturer or make some compromises.

    • http://www.vdctrading.com/shop/van-damme-cable/data-lighting/tourca... 

      how about this ?

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