Since we are using our ROV’s for scientific research, and we are located near the ocean, we have had to do some modifications to our ROV’s in order to make them sea worthy, and add functionality.
The OpenROV motors are mostly meant for fresh water, being as such the ocean wreaked havoc on our motors. The motors have mild steel bearing along with bare stators, they both began corroding quickly and after 3 dives froze up, they were freed with lubricant but then became noisy and added drag.
Our solution: spray on enamel and stainless steel and ceramic hybrid bearings. We used rustoleum clear spray enamel, and ceramic and stainless steel hybrid bearings (3x8x4mm and 3x7x3mm) for fishing rods.
After the modifications, the changes are night and day. After 3 dives in the ocean the comparison is amazing (left is 3 dives without and right is 3 dives with.)
2) Sensors and recording modification
Currently we need have pressure, temperature and navigation which is easily accomplished by OpenROV’s IMU module.
We want to add a better laser system (wider span with more accurate distance between.) The OpenROV has two lasers, but they’re difficult to properly align to small tolerances. The purpose of the lasers is to judge the size of objects, by having the lasers a known distance apart, you can use them as a ruler.We plan on using a 3 laser system incorporating green lasers.
Paul is developing a modular accessory mounting system for the sides and center of our ROV, allowing multiple accessories and cameras to be added.