Remotely Operated Vehicle Test in Lake

Today, I tested a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in a local lake.  So this post is going to be something different for RobotNext.  I recommend this project for anyone who wants to try out an underwater robot. Technically speaking, this is not a robot as such.  It is a remotely operated vehicle controlled by a tether to a control box and power on the surface.  This vehicle was constructed in less than two days in a total of about twelve hours.  Using the ROV in a Box from !nventivity, our teachers’ group at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas built three of these machines.  All I can say is that it was a blast.  

In the video taken from my phone, you can see the robot powering around and then diving under the water.  There will be more testing of these ROVs in weeks to come.  Also, look at the photos of my ROV on the edge of the water.  Not bad for a two day effort. 

Video Credit:  Mike Henry

Here is a photo of the ROV on the edge of the lake.  Note the blue pool noodles used as flotation devices to keep the robot at neutral buoyancy.

Mike's Phone 169

Photo Credit:  Mike Henry

Note the black cylinder object at the back of the ROV.  That is a color camera and below it is a 10 led light to illuminate features in the water.  Images can be seen on a television screen.  The three motors have propellers and give power and control in 3 directions.

Mike's Phone 170

Photo Credit:  Mike Henry

Autonomous DIY robot based on cheap MAKE Controller

 make_controller_mobile_robot_1-480x317 If you want to build your own robot, this one looks like it could be the one to try first.  I saw this article on the SlashGear site and thought it would be worth looking into.  Also, I have included a quote from the Make website about the controller and some of its specs.  Please note that the base of this robot is a Linxmotion Rover Chassis.  The web site states that this product is discontinued or out of stock.  There is apparently another version available from  This last site is listed in a comment to the original posting and the price is more than the original Linxmotion Rover Chassis.  I looked at the site and it may be a different item.

The article from Slashgear can be found below.

“It seems like DIY robots are gaining momentum, as more low-cost and straightforward controllers become available. Latest is this wireless-equipped model,”
SlashGear –

Check out the Make page for the details on the Make Controller.

“The Make Controller is built around the AT91SAM7X256, and adds the essential components (like the crystal, voltage regulator, filter capacitors, etc.) required to run it, while bringing almost all the processor's signal lines out to standard 0.1" spaced sockets. The software environment remains constant no matter what you plug the Make Controller into – the firmware libraries are organized and documented, making it clear which are compatible with the Controller and Application boards.”

Make Controller 2.0 & Interface Board  can be found at .

Autonomous DIY robot based on cheap MAKE Controller – SlashGear
Chris Davies
Tue, 19 May 2009 14:23:48 GMT