The team’s focused and intense work has paid off in the form of 2 prototypes, V1.0 and V2.0, and another, most up-to-date prototype V3.0 currently being developed. Below are the details concerning the manufacture and design decisions and processes of V1.0 and V2.0, building up the repertoire and preparation for V3.0.
V1.0 Prototype’s results and outcomes:
1. 30 meters Resistance (Structure and waterproof):
We couldn’t test the 30 meters immersion due to scuba divers’ schedule. Instead, the team decided to test in the ocean at approximately 2 meters deep at Otaranta in cold water and -10°C weather temperature. The prototype succeeds in transmitting images from both cameras, controlling the LED lights and ensuring water isolation condition.
2. Support all electronic devices:
The pieces were successfully assembled. The supports for Arduino and Raspberry will be added and the design of the cameras’ supports will be changed in V2.0 prototype.
The sealing worked using commercial gaskets and the marine glue was excellent for penetrators and PMMA. During the test in the ocean, the internal LED lights created reflections on the PMMA and blinded the cameras. Hence, for V2.0 the LED lights must be placed outside of the main body that contains the cameras.
We couldn’t test tracks assembled with motors. The height from the floor to the structure will be increased to avoid obstacles. The tracks are to be tested and improved.
5. Wires sealing:
The martine glue with the O-ring was successful in preventing water from coming inside the main body and soaking the penetrators.
To create the V2.0 concept design, the team took the results learned from the V1.0 prototype and combined them with aesthetic inspirations drawn from the organic forms of underwater environments. This culminates in a sleek surface that improves device movement and reduces water friction and a sturdy structure in the shape of double curvatures that is resistant against water pressure.
The form of the prototype was explored multiple times on sketches, employing different views and perspectives until the final proposal was selected, 3-D modelled and rendered. At this stage, the concept didn’t consider the manufacturing of sensors. However, the placement of the Arduino, Raspberry and cameras was already decided after looking into their connections and assemblies.
Prototype V 2.0 - Manufacturing Process
The prototype was manufactured using advanced manufacturing processes that provide high precision to each piece for their assemblies. The manufacturing processes used were:
- Laser cut
- CNC Milling
- CNC Turning
- 3D print
- Powder coating
The materials were selected with the purpose of resisting seawater-induced corrosion. Stainless steel sheets and bolts were used in manufacturing.
The general dimensions of the V2 prototype concept was decided after collectively considering all electrical components and sensors used not only in the current version but also previous ones. This means the design process started with the placement of functional elements - components and sensors - inside the prototype at their optimal location; only then did the dimensions and final form take definite shape.
The allowable maximum dimensions of the ROV were also contingent on the manufacturing processes, whose selection were in turn constrained by the budget allocation to this prototype version and influenced by the lead time of each process. At the moment, two manufacturing processes were proposed: 3D print SLA or milling process for the main body.
In terms of colour, a degree of contrast the prototype should have from its surroundings is desirable. Case in point, marine creatures tend to possess contrasting colour mechanisms for camouflage or warding off predators. Also, the ROV and its location must be identifiable to observers from the ocean surface; hence it is beneficial for the ROV to have contrasting colours from the sea-floor.
The details of each project phase can be found in the next blog posts. The V 3.0 prototype is being developed with more enhancements. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletters or join our pioneer group for further updates!