Recap: RoboSub 2019

Hello vampires, werewolves, and otherkin! A few weeks ago, the BR coven traveled down to San Diego for the 22nd Annual RoboSub Competition! The missions were fierce and the life force was strong, with a record 54 teams participating in this year’s court!

TRANSDEC-vania

TRANSDEC-vania

What is RoboSub, you ask?

RoboSub is an exciting underwater robotics program in which teams of high school and college students from around the world design and build an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). These vehicles are designed to autonomously navigate through a series of tasks that mimic ongoing research in Autonomous Underwater Systems. This event also serves to develop relationships between young engineers and the organizations developing and using unmanned and autonomous technologies. This year, 600 students on 54 teams from 13 countries had the task of Slaying the Vampire! (more…)

Recap: RoboBoat 2019

Hello all, welcome to our official recap of the RoboBoat competition in South Daytona, Florida! As some of you may know, Blue Robotics and RoboNation have a long, mutually inspiring history and BR has been lucky enough to sponsor RoboSub for 5 years now as well as RobotX for the first time in December, 2018. After years of partaking in the fun, inspiring, and innovative world that is RoboNation, it was only natural to want to join in on more competitions as well, leading us to sponsor RoboBoat for the first time in 2019!

Blue Robotics at RoboBoat, 2019

Blue Robotics at RoboBoat, 2019

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Recap: MATE International ROV Competition 2019

Friends, hello! A couple of weeks ago we attended (for the 4th year in a row!) the MATE International ROV Competition and we are excited as ever for the future of marine robotics. Before we dive into a recap, let’s take a look at some throwbacks from previous competitions!

But First, What is MATE?

The MATE International ROV (remotely operated vehicle or underwater robot) competition challenges students to learn and creatively apply STEM skills to solve real-world problems and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Throughout the school year, students spend anywhere from 500 to 2,500 hours engineering their ROVs, all in preparation for the regional events that take place across the country and around the world which then feed into the international championship.

A brief history of BR and MATE

In 2016 the event was held at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas – a pretty epic location for our first time! The 2016 competition highlighted how technologies developed for use in the harsh ocean environment can also be used in outer space – and vice versa.

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

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New Products! (sort of)

Our customers are are some of the most innovative creatures out there – they are studying marine life, exploring shipwrecks, surveying coral reefs, and advancing human knowledge of the ocean. The products in this update will be familiar but they are new to our store – they’ve been added to help make our customers lives a little easier, so we may continue to push the boundaries of ocean exploration together!

Updated Water Linked Underwater GPS / BlueROV2 Integration Kit R2

This kit provides a few additional cables for the Water Linked Underwater GPS system to allow it to seamlessly integrate with the BlueROV2 system – the R2 version is better integrated with FXTI and uses Binder 770 connectors.

Battery Cell Checker

The Battery Cell Checker plugs into the battery balance plug and tells you cell voltages, overall pack voltage, and overall state-of-charge. It’s a great field tool to check your batteries and make sure they are ready for each dive! We keep one with us during every dive.

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Photo Contest! #SubseaSTEM

Hello friends! It is competition season and we are beyond excited to spend the next few months supporting and recognizing the hard work and innovation being brought to our industry by the students of STEM. This season we are hosting a rolling, themed photo contest with prizes (and hashtags) each step of the way! Let’s check it out…

Competition ROV designed and built by Jesuit High School Robotics.

Entry

The photo contest will be broken down into four categories, each with its own theme, hashtag, and prizes. Submissions for any category can be made any time before the closing date of that category; please note the individual submission closing dates so you can be sure to enter your photo into the desired category before it’s closed! Once we have closed all entries and we’ve announced all themed entry winners, we will announce the grand prize winner!

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New Products: Ping + Other Components

Hi friends, happy Tuesday! We are (finally) ready to release a product that many of you have been patiently awaiting… introducing the Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder (plus other fun things)!

Check out the new product video below!

Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder

The Ping sonar is a multipurpose single-beam echosounder. It can be used as an altimeter for ROVs and AUVs, for bathymetry work aboard a USV, as an obstacle avoidance sonar, and more. The Ping combines a compact form factor and 300 meter depth rating with an open source user interface and development libraries to create a powerful new tool for marine robotics!

The Ping has anodized aluminum case with the sonar transducer on one side. The other side has tapped mounting holes and the Ping comes with a mounting bracket that makes it easy to install on the BlueROV2 and in other applications. It comes with a one meter cable with a pre-installed cable penetrator and is rated to an operating depth of 300m.

The Ping has a bottom-finding algorithm that locks onto the strongest response and returns the distance and measurement confidence. The Ping works great as an altimeter on the BlueROV2 but can be used in all sorts of applications from tidal monitoring to obstacle avoidance to autonomous terrain following.

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Updated Products: Ballast Weight and Desiccant

Happy 2019, everyone! New year, lotssss of new products – we can’t weight to share what’s in store 😉 We’re starting off the year with a couple of updated ROV components: Stainless Steel Ballast Weight and Moisture Indicating Silica Gel Desiccant Bags.

Stainless Steel Ballast Weight

The new Stainless Steel Ballast Weight is a drop in replacement for original lead weight. Stainless steel is less toxic to the environment and to humans!

Moisture Indicating Silica Gel Desiccant Bags

We’ve repackaged the silica gel so they come in prepackaged in 6 individual bags. Any humidity inside your Watertight Enclosure will cause condensation to collect when placed in the water, and this desiccant will eliminate humidity inside the enclosure so that you can clearly see out of it.

All new ROV orders will come with both of these upgrades.

That’s all for today!

New Products: 18-hole 4″ Series End Cap and BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam

Hello friends! Today we’ve got some new products to release – an 18-hole 4″ Series End Cap and BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam!

18-hole 4″ Series End Cap

Unlike most of our other end caps, which have 10 mm through-holes for each penetrator, this one has a mixture of threaded and through-holes to allow more penetrations to be packed in. The outer eleven holes are threaded with standard M10 threads. The inner seven holes are through-holes just like our other end caps. All of the holes are compatible with all of our M10 penetrators.

This end cap is compatible with the 4″ Series Watertight Enclosure and can be used on the BlueROV2 for more expandability!

BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam

Because more end cap holes means more room for all the things, and thus more weight, we have the new BlueROV2 Machined Buoyancy Foam today as well! This foam is machined specifically to add an additional 500 grams of total buoyancy on the BlueROV2. The shape fits perfectly into the BlueROV2 fairing and adds more stability and payload capacity! This is an add-on only and the BlueROV2 still comes with the standard rectangular blocks of foam.

That’s all for today!

New Products: Cable Repair Kit and WetLink Thixotropic 80A Potting Compound!

Hello friends! Today we’d like to fixate your attention on a group of new products – introducing the Cable Repair Kit, WetLink Thixotropic 80A Potting Compound, and their related components!

The Cable Repair Kit

The Cable Repair Kit has all of the materials necessary to temporarily repair damaged cable, tether, and other connections. It contains two specialized materials: Coax Seal and Silicone Tape. The Coax Seal is a hand moldable, non-toxic, non-conductive plastic that adheres to most surfaces and the silicone tape is a UV resistant and flexible tape that fuses only to itself. When used in a repair the coax seal forms a watertight barrier and the silicone tape is used to protect it.

The kit also contains acetone wipes to help clean and prepare the cable surface for the best possible adhesion. With these tools in hand a day of diving doesn’t have to be called off because of a damaged cable, just perform a field repair and keep on keepin’ on 😉 All of these components are also sold separately, so you can refill your kit as needed!

WetLink Thixotropic 80A Potting Compound (USA ONLY)

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New Products: Fathom Spool, Fathom-X Tether Interface, Updated Fathom Tether!

Good day friends! We’re REEL excited for this release – introducing the Fathom Spool, Fathom-X Tether Interface, and an update to the Fathom Tether! Check out the new product video:

Fathom-X Tether Interface

The Fathom-X Topside Interface (FXTI) is an enclosure for the topside Fathom-X board that also contains a USB to Ethernet converter so that the user has a simple USB-to-tether interface. It also has expandability to connect other devices to tether pairs. The box has a Binder 770 Series Bulkhead to allow connection to the new tether.

Fathom Spool

The Fathom Tether Spool is a slip-ring spool for the standard tether and the slim tether. It comes in two sizes to support 150m and 300m tether lengths. The spool has Binder 770 Series connectors to connect to the tether and to connect to the FXTI. It is sold as kit with some simple assembly required.

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