Oakland Girls Underwater Robot Camp OctoberOctober 1 2014
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Welcome to mission control!
With a little help from my friends, i've taken over a corner of the beach to create a mobile ROV "control van" which is made up of:
A 12 volt deep cycle marine battery
An extension cable
A power strip
A large computer monitor
A complete field tool kit
And Three ROVs
Expedition morning our new ROV Mantis gets a final leak test.
Submarine trick, put one sealed end of the tube in soapy water and use a pump to pull a vaccuum from the other side. If there is a leak on the submerged side, bubbles are a very obvious indicator for exactly where the leak is coming from.
Mantis was leak free! Nice construction job ladies!
The camera cable from the HD webcam is designed to reach from the top of a computer monitor all the way to the usb plug on the computer itself. In our case, the cable only needs to reach a few inches.
Instead of trying to fit all the excess cable into the pressure housing, D cuts the length of the cable down to a custom size and solders the fine wires together. She shielded the cable with extra pieces of foil and recovers the joint with heat shrink.
Once the wire bundle is epoxied into the wire pass through on the Main Endcap, one of the last steps to completing the ROV is to solder on a DB-25 connector. This solder job is time intensive and requires a steady set of hands with the soldering iron. K and N work together to run each wire into its respective place on the connector and solder it into place.
Day 2 of Robot Camp
Our morning pilot challenge started with a task of picking up a ziptie ring sitting at the bottom of the test tank which quickly proved too easy. The girls devised for themselves a new pilot challenge involving grabbing a floating octopus, carrying it across the pool and submerging without loosing it, and placing it into a weighted basket at the bottom of the pool.
I never would have come up with such a thing. It was über challenging and an absolute blast.
The wire pass through on the starboard side Main Endcap is the point where the external wires leading to the IMU and motors cross into the water tight electronics compartment.
To make the pass through itself water tight, we apply a liquid two part epoxy into the space between the wires to seal them against the intrusion of water. K uses a special mixing nozzle to apply the epoxy and then we let it cure overnight.
Soldering is a critical part of building an OpenROV. After mastering the skill in the morning, K used the afternoon to teach others other how to make a clean solder joint.
The key is a hot iron. Set the soldering iron in place, heat up your part, THEN bring the solder to the joint. K describes the process to D, focusing on the idea that the iron is not a paintbrush. If everything is sufficiently hot, the solder will flow into place on its own.
Acrylic solvent is not glue. Rather, it dissolves the surface of an acrylic part and hardens about 10 seconds later as it evaporates. If two surfaces are held together they re-solidify as one. For this reason, we call this acrylic welding as opposed to acrylic glueing.
The acrylic solvent flows more freely than water and will drain out of the syringe if the user does not create a vacuum inside the bottle as they pour. It takes some practice to create this vacuum in the applicator syringe, but these ladies were pros in minutes.
Day 1 of Robot Camp
Five awesome girls rolled into OpenROV Head Quarters bright and early this morning to build a robot! Our laser cutting specialist @marius set aside ROV hull number 1500 for our weekend camp. Momentous!
Everyone loves paperwork, so we started with liability release forms and skill survey questionnaires, then we moved on to a piloting challenge in the test tank with Phantom.
Here was our guiding white board for the day:
Registration open to all girls ages 13-17 on EventBrite:
$125 per participant
October 4th and 5th - 9:30 - 3:30
Gather at OpenROV Head Quarters in Berkeley, CA to construct ROV.
October 11th and 12th - 9:30 - 3:30
Meet at OpenROV Head Quarters to Test and Calibrate ROV. Plan micro expedition.
Meet at OpenROV Head Quarters and go explore.
Lunch will be provided for each of the 4 days.
About the Camp Mentor:
Erika Bergman is a submersible pilot and a National Geographic Explorer
Check out this Arctic Girls Underwater Robot Camp to find out what's in store!