Practical semester in Mexico

Latest update December 20, 2014 Started on February 28, 2015
I am planning on assisting cave divers in Quintana Roo, Mexico, to retrieve items from the Cenotes of Yucatán of geological, anthropological and biological interest. As I have to do a practical semester for my studies in Germany I thought I might help them out by building an OpenROV and using it there. The main goal is to shorten the time divers need to spot items which they then later retrieve. The Mission should start sometime around october of 2014.

February 28, 2015
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In The Field

Quick update incoming.
My last two month were collossial failures. On day 2 of my expedition a ball bearing in one of the back motors broke and i had to wait almost 2 month for pieces to arrive here in mexico. I now received most pieces necessary to continue my journey. I will try my best getting back into my project and let you guys know what happens.
Stay tuned and sorry for the lengthy pause.

What a bad luck but also.
Good luck in your expedition.

Hey Nils! Don't be sorry, things like that happen in life, it's just loke Yin and Yang, and be sure that a lot of positive things are coming along the way after your the way I truly believe that there is always positive in what we see as "negative" at first glance ;)
And congratulations for your honesty and courage for having let us know about that.
Wishing you happy holidays, and all the best and only the best for 2015!
Keep up the great work Buddy!

Stay with it Nils! We're all excited to keep following along!


Just a quick update for all of you out there:
Today i was busy as a bee writing my first Community Hack tutorial. It is about a WiFi enabled Tether Management System that I build myself so that actually no cable is required at all from the Laptop anymore.
Check it out here and tell me what you think in the comment box.

Very cool! Thanks for posting Nils!

Love it!! Thanks Nils. The kind of hack that can become a standard feature for OpenROV.

Thats great! We were planning on setting up as wireless system for our OpenRov. Using your design will be a great starting point.

Thanks for the positive feedback. Want to know what you guys can make of it. Let me know when you finished your designs.

Another quick update:
Yesterday the ROV took its first dive in my bathtub and did survive quite well. It did not have its propellers mounted because of a little hack we are doing to them. More about this later this day. Included below is the video of the quite boring first dive :)

Stay tuned. If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below in that shiny comment section.

This is awesome Nils! Thanks for posting!

I like the video, and you're much more than I do.
I am also from Germany and am very interested in the OpenROV.

@fun2rov if you have anything specific in mind ask me here or on my google+ profile of course you can ask me in german if you like ;)

Hi Nils, Thanks for the offer. I will respond.

Very quick post.
I am trying to get myself a Chromebook for my upcoming practical semester as they have huge battery life. I did a little test today on how to connect wireless ps3 controllers to it via bluetooth. All i can say is that it worked and i am thrilled to see if it will work with the openrov.

Stay tuned for updates and if you have any questions or comments - dont hestitate to leave them down in the shiny box of comments.

This is great! We picked up Chromebooks for our expedition to Papua New Guinea. The IP setup initially was confusing, but is actually quite simple. Let me know if you have any questions.

Hey that's nice to see someone else working on Chromebooks. Did you find anything more difficult or unreliable that is regular laptops? Also which Chromebooks did you use? I am planning on using the Asus C200 because of its 11 hrs of battery life.

We went with the Acer C720 Chromebook. It has a battery life of 8.5 hours and a solid state drive so it hopefully will hold up to what we OpenROVers like to put our laptops through.

We'll be taking our laptops out on expedition in a couple of weeks, i'll post if we encounter any issues.

Did you fly it via keyboard or gamecontroller?

Today I started building the OpenROV #1339.
First picture is a bit fuzzy but here you go.
Next days I will be building and probably testing the ROV.
Furthermore I would like to translate the build-instructions into german to increase the reach of this project.

Drop a comment down below if you have any questions or recommendations.
Updates will roll in next days as I progess in building.


Very quick update:

2 down - 2 to go.
On friday I will be attending my last exam for this year.
Next Monday I will unpack the OpenROV box and start building.

More updates to come.
Stay tuned!

Thanks for the update! Best of luck and see you back shortly! I'm going to follow your example and updated about a postponed expedition.

Another short update:
I received my OpenROV kit and will start building it in about 2-3 weeks.
I still have to write some very important exams beforehand, but am really thrilled to start building it.
I will, of course, get this threat going as soon as i start bulding.

If you have any questions feel free to comment!


Woohoo! Looking forward to seeing you back in a few weeks. If you can wait that long ;)

I'll have a hard time not unpacking it until then. But I'll have to pass my exams, so wish me luck :)

Short update incoming!
A couple of month ago I applied for a scholarship for my "practical semester" and what should I say: I was awarded it!
This will help me paying my rent over there and keep me up and running.
Also a professor of mine is willing to take over the cost for the OpenROV (thanks, Mr. Valenzuela!).
More updates to follow.
If you have any questions comment down below!

Great news! Excited to follow along as it comes together!

Congratulations! Can't wait to see what you discover. Are you going to be building and testing before you leave in October?

So my current plan is the following. Ordering the ROV in beginning of September, building and testing the kit in Germany for one month in October and after that I'll start my journey in early November. So my time in Mexico will be 4 month in total.

This is my checklist for planning my practical semester:

Book a flight to Cancun -

Applying for a scholarship - CHECK

Getting funds for the OpenROV - CHECK

Finding an appartment in the area of Playa del Carmen -

buy a simcard for Mexico's 3G internet (prepaid)

More to be added soon
If anyone of you has some important info for me just tell me in the comment section below!

Expedition Background

Almost three years ago, in september of 2011, I, for the first time of my life, went to Mexico for about a month to go on vacations. We (my Girlfriend and I) stayed in Playa del Carmen (near to Cancun) right before I started my studies at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg university of applied sciences in Sankt Augustin, Germany. I immediately fell in love with that beautiful county and dreamt about one day coming back there.
Time went by and I didn't had the time to actually get back when all of a sudden last year I had the chance to fly once again to Mexico to accompany a group of geologists, paleontologists and archaeologist who work in the Cenotes of the Yucatán peninsula.
During that time I also got to know OpenROV by chance. I just stumbled across it during my hours long sessions on Youtube.
While still being in Mexico I decided to ask the divers who asssist the group of scientist if they need any help in the future with a little diving robot. So I went on and showed them all of the demo material that was available at that time of the OpenROV and they were more than impressed with what they saw.
My time in Mexico unfortunately came to an end some 2 weeks later but I stayed in contact with some of the divers and scientist.
As a part of my studies in electrical engineering we have to do a so called "practical semester" which is an internship for 5 month at a company of our liking (with preference abroad), which I am planning on doing in Mexico. For more info on my planning phase read the upcoming updates.


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