Jon's Place

Friday, July 18, 2014

NanoSeeker Version 2

So, its been quite a while since I last posted here. I spent most of April and May traveling, including going to Maker Faire in San Mateo, and JSConf in Florida. While I was at JSConf, I ran into some of the guys from OpenROV, and we immediately starting talking about ROVs and AUVs. I had brought NanoSeeker with me, just to show to anyone who was interested, and we found out completely accidentally that the battery holder tubes for an OpenROV are exactly the right size to make a transparent shell for NanoSeeker.

NanoSeeker with a clear shell
Eric Stackpole, one of the founders of OpenROV, gave me a spare one they had with them, and I immediately started thinking about what I could do with a new version of NanoSeeker. I built the first version of NanoSeeker in 2009, and a lot has changed in the home-brew electronics space since then.

I decided right off the bat that it should run MicroPython (and thus use an STM32F405 as the processor), and incorporate a full 9-axis IMU, as well as a depth sensor and a speed sensor. I started working on the CAD model, and got it to the point where it was ready to be printed. I bought my own material cartridge for the 3D printer I use for work, so over the past week I printed the parts I would need.

NanoSeeker v2, beside the old v1
I need to find another o-ring that is the right size, and of course I need to completely redesign the electronics, but I think this is going to work out nicely. I'm going to include a bluetooth module on the board, which will allow me to update the python scripts driving it while it is on the bench, without having to open it up.

I'm really looking forward to having a micro AUV that I can program in a reasonable language, without having to go through a lot of crazy hoops.