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Open Source News Science

Open-Source Mini Sub Can Be Made On the Cheap 62

An anonymous reader writes "Eric Stackpole is a NASA engineer and avid outdoorsman. He is the chief designer of a cheap, portable underwater ROV that could change the way we explore our oceans. And he wants to make it so cheap and easy to build that anyone can do it. The device in question is the OpenROV, a small, lasercut contraption powered by several C-cells, a small, cheap computer and a webcam. Right now the price per vehicle is around $500-$600, As with all open source hardware projects, further development will likely drastically reduce the price. Or you can buy a kit for $750 and support the project, once the Kickstarter gets going."
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Open-Source Mini Sub Can Be Made On the Cheap

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  • by toygeek ( 473120 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:55AM (#40164073) Homepage Journal

    Its nice to see good technology properly applied and then tied together with the right software. Off the shelf parts, even a micro Linux computer to run the on board electronics, and inexpensive parts round it out. Its a case of "Hey if I used this technology, I could advance a science" instead of "Hey, look, my wrist watch is a web server!"

    Nicely done!

  • Re:Increased depth? (Score:5, Informative)

    by omglolbah ( 731566 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @04:24AM (#40164333)

    The DC-Loop resistance of cat5 is specified as below 0.188 Ohm per meter.
    Wire maximum current is 0.557 A.

    Assuming a 100 meter length of wire this would be 18.8 ohms.
    This is a significant amount of resistance for DC power.
    Even with 0.5A current you would end up with 9.4 volts worth of drop in the wire alone... You would need some power regulation at the other end to clean it up incurring further loss of efficiency.

    Power over Ethernet use anywhere from 44 to 57 volts but can still only transfer about 350ma/600ma (two standards).

    Nope, batteries are still the way to go for now... Though you could probably implement some sort of trickle-charging into the umbilical to avoid having to nab the device up from that spiffy thing you found to re-power if you run out. Not sure if it would even be possible to do with any kind of efficiency though... Powering these suckers has been an issue for quite some time..

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.