Posted by Deliverator on March 31st, 2005
Spent a good deal of today researching various aspects of ROV design. I spent some time at TAP plastics talking to them about the buoyancy properties of various plastics and foams. After a lot of consideration, I think the best (read cheap and simple) way to go about achieving neutral buoyancy is to construct the frame out of PVC filled with foam. The motors, cameras, control boards and batteries are going to add a lot of weight, so a fair ammount of foam will probably need to be strapped to the frame to achieve slightly positive buoyancy. The nice thing about this design is that it doesn’t require any complex dive tanks, compressed air, pumps, etc and should something fail, the ROV should float to the surface on its own. I still need to investigate motors/propellers and a few major subsystems, but a lot of the ? marks on my checklist are now marked off. For example, I learned how to build a hydrophone (underwater microphone) and how to build cheap waterproof cameras.