T100 Thruster Kickstarter is Live + SolarSurfer Progress

Hello all,

First of all, we wanted to remind everyone that the BlueRobotics T100 Thruster Kickstarter is live starting at 8:30am Pacific time today! The T100 is the first underwater thruster that is affordable for hobbyist projects. We've put tons of work into it and we hope that you will consider backing us! There are many ways it can be used on drone/APM/Pixhawk projects. Check out the ArduBoat User Group for ideas.

You can back the Kickstarter here.

Speaking of APM-based marine robotics projects, we've made some significant progress on our SolarSurfer vehicle. The SolarSurfer is a T100 propelled autonomous robot that is powered by a solar panel and navigated by an APM2.6. We are working towards a non-stop trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Last week we completed a 24 hour test in the open ocean. The SolarSurfer was launched from a boat off the coast of Los Angeles and autonomously navigated under solar power until the sun went down. At night, the robot drifts with the current. The electronics and satellite link stay active so that we can track it's movement.

The following morning it "woke-up" and continued on its way. We intercepted it with the boat in the middle of the day. Successful test.

Here's an image from the test. We'll have a map of the GPS track posted on our website in the next few days.

Thanks and remember to check out the Kickstarter campaign!

- Rusty, Joe, and Josh from BlueRobotics

Views: 1927

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on August 12, 2014 at 8:37am

I just pledged $270 for three of the thrusters @ the $90 each price.


TCIII ArduBoat Developer

Comment by Rustom Jehangir on August 12, 2014 at 8:41am

Thanks Thomas! We really appreciate it!


Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on August 12, 2014 at 8:44am


I used to live on Rockefeller Lane back in the early 90s so I know where you guys are located.

Hopefully you will make your $35k goal.


TCIII ArduBoat Developer 

Comment by Rustom Jehangir on August 12, 2014 at 8:45am


That's awesome! What a coincidence. It's a cool place to live and work.

Thanks for the support.


Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on August 12, 2014 at 8:52am


Before I moved to Texas with Raytheon and then retired to Florida, I used to live in North Torrance off of Artesia and played volleyball almost every Sunday at Manhattan Beach:-)


TCIII ArduBoat Developer

Comment by Phil Gordon on August 12, 2014 at 9:28am
I have 2 T100`s pledged,I`ve been waiting for a unit like this for my rig.
Comment by Rustom Jehangir on August 12, 2014 at 9:28am

Thanks Phil - excited to see what you build!

Comment by Phil Gordon on August 12, 2014 at 9:50am

I was wondering about bearing life and buying replacement bearings Rusty.

What`s the go?

Comment by Rustom Jehangir on August 12, 2014 at 10:18am

@Phil - The bearings are actually high-performance plastic bushings. The material is designed for exactly this purpose: stainless steel shaft rotating while submerged in water.

The manufacturer's lifetime calculator shows over 5,000 hr (200+ days) lifetime with constant use at full throttle and a conservative load factor. If you plan to run beyond that point, the bearing gets otherwise damaged, or that estimate is completely wrong, we'd be happy to send you some more. They can be popped out and replaced pretty easily.

I hope that helps!

Comment by Owen Versteeg on August 12, 2014 at 10:22am

Wow, looks great! I don't have much interest in making a boat, but this looks like a great Kickstarter.

Also, the thrust and efficiency looks crazy good on those! At 50% it looks like 1.2kg + what looks like 30g/W, which is insane efficiency compared to multirotor motors on the market now. I'm guessing the fact that you're in water helps substantially with that, right?


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