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Open source underwater glider

I thought people here might be interested in a project that I’ve been working on for a while.

There are no affordable extended duration underwater exploration projects and I’ve developed a hardware platform to provide this capability. The glider uses a mixture of 3D printed components and commodity parts (such as the Blue Robotics tubing/end-caps/serial communication boards). 

The model is viewable on the Onshape online platform here (requires webGL)


The glider is fully open source and assembled using parameterisable 3D prints (to adjust parts for your printer to minimise post processing). Instructions are available, with a level of detail that if you're able to assemble a RepRap kit, you should be able to assemble the glider. The only tools required are a 3D printer, soldering station, dremel and then various hand tools such as hacksaw/allen keys etc. 

With the Onshape CAD model, you are able to duplicate the model and adapt the hardware for your own requirements (such as adding a front mounted camera) - the glider is designed to be a hardware platform for others to use/adapt, not a project with a fixed use case. 

The current software is relatively basic (primarily used to demonstrate the glider ascending/descending underwater), but the control board does have an IMU, allowing for for the addition of a PID algorithm to control glide angle. The control board can also act as a slave board motor controller for the Pixhawk autopilot board and this would integrate with the Mission Planner software in order for the glider to perform autonomous waypoint navigation.


More information can be found on the glider's Hackaday page and any comments/suggestions are more than welcome.


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