BeagleBone Black project spotlight:
By Tara Stratton
Whether you want to explore the seas for science and education, “snorkel” for fish and coral without getting wet, or hunt for buried treasure in unexplored seas, OpenROV is something you need to check out!
David Lang and Eric Stackpole created OpenROV—an underwater robot that can be controlled with a laptop—in a garage in Cupertino, Calif. with the goal of exploring an underwater cave. After finding a global community of co-developers on Kickstarter, the project evolved, developing into a global community of DIY ocean explorers who are using and improving the OpenROV design. The community gathers everyone from professional ocean engineers and software developers to hobbyists and students, all who want to learn and explore the oceans and lakes of the world. Adventurous souls can make their own OpenROV from scratch, using design files on OpenROV.com for support. Explorers also can buy an OpenROV kit, which comes with all the hardware needed to assemble your own OpenROV, for only $849.00.
The newest OpenROV robot—OpenROV 2.5—was introduced in September 2013. It is now powered by the Sitara-processor-based BeagleBone Black (it was formerly powered by the original BeagleBone), enabling lower cost and higher performance robots. Its many other upgrades include a durable polypropylene shell, more efficient propellers, added buoyancy to support more payloads, more robust battery tubes, and laser range and size calculating capability. These submarine-like robots are open-source, enabling anyone to hack them to add new features and functionality. David and Eric say the robot kit can be built in a single weekend, so you can kick off your treasure hunt in no time, even without a degree in engineering!
OpenROV sounds cool, but it’s even more impressive in action. Check out CNN’s video of OpenROV to see how it works:
There are now more than 500 OpenROVs swimming in more than 50 countries around the world. Want to explore your own unchartered waters? Visit OpenROV.com to find out more.
If you want to hear more about David Lang’s leap into the Maker movement and how he grew to be a successful entrepreneur, check out his new book Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything.