Monthly Archives: November 2015

OpenROV an open hardware project to explore the ocean deep

OpenROV is one of the coolest open hardware projects out there. One of our Community Members, Andrew David Thaler is a contributor to the project so we reached out to him to explain what OpenROV is all about. Andrew is a deep sea biologist and a conservation geneticist, he is one of the contributors to a really cool site called Southern Fried Science. You can check out his YouMagine profile here or support his work on Patreon here. He makes cool things such as an open source water sampler and is also the maker behind the rugged Beagle Box computer.

Andrew with the OpenROV

Andrew with the OpenROV

“I’m an ecologist that has been working closely with OpenROV for the last several years to get the robots into more marine research programs. Part of that involves designing sampling tools and instruments that can integrate seamlessly with the robots, for example.

The OpenROV itself is not 3d printed, though some parts were printed for prototyping. 3D printing is primarily used to develop auxiliary tools, like the water sampler above, a bait box for baited camera surveys, or tether floats.  OpenROV is a huge open-source community with hundreds of people contributing code and design to the project. 

For me, my challenge is getting field scientists to see these small, inexpensive robots as serious tools for scientific research. To that end, I’ve been working closely with serveral research teams to get formal studies conducted and published using the OpenROV. The first scientific paper based of OpenROV work was published earlier this year.

I think most of the people who work at OpenROV will acknowledge that the company is really about empowering explorers. For some, underwater robotics is part of their business, but there are plenty of others who are just curious about what’s beneath their local waterways and want tools to explore. Having a low-cost, open-source machine capable of fulfilling both those roles is a huge asset to the ocean-loving community. 

OpenROV dives to 100 meters, carries a high def camera with a live feed back to the surface, and can be outfitted with a payload of sensors, cameras, sample collectors, or anything else you can imagine. I’ve used OpenROV to survey coral reefs, sharks, and garbage in Papua New Guinea, I’ve taken it out recreationally to play in my local lake, I’ve taken student groups out to learn about their local underwater ecosystems, and I’ve used it to inspect flood damage around my (unfortunately very coastal) farm, while the flood was happening. It’s an incredibly versatile tool. 

The community is open and welcoming, anyone who wants to explore their local waterways can join in!”

Woof Woof get a BeagleBone case on YouMagine & 3Dhubs


BB-BBLK-000BeagleBone is a low-power open-source hardware computer that you can use for projects and prototyping. You can get one over at Beagle Board. The board case is around $60 and has an ARM Cortex processor on it. The guys at 3DHubs want to let anyone 3D print a case for this board so they can use it for their projects. Helder Santos made a tutorial showing you how to design your case. We asked him to answer some questions on how he made his design.  You can download and play with the wonderful case design here on YouMagine

Schermafbeelding 2015-11-03 om 16.43.56

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen someone make with a Beagle Bone? 

For me that would be the which is EPIC!

How did you make your case? 
The Case was model with McNeel Rhino 5.0, a NURBS based CAD program, very versatile and  perfect for digital fabrication. The idea started with the need of creating a protective case with an integrated breadboard. This way users could easily take with them a sort of minilab and prototype there circuits wherever they wanted.  The concept is very simple. The case has to half that open like a book . Once opened,  you will have the Beaglebone Black and the Breadboard side-by-side and ready to use. Another interesting feature is the small compartment inside the case designed to transport small components.

Schermafbeelding 2015-11-03 om 16.43.37

Are there specific printer settings or design considerations that people should take into account?
The case design was optimized for the best printing quality on FDM printers and it is support free. This way, it will be easy to print in most of the printers available on the market today.
I recommend this printing settings:
Layer Height: 150 Micron
Shell Thickness: 0.8 mm
Printing Speed: 30-40 mm/s
Infill: 100%
Supports: No
Heated Bed: Yes