Projects for geeks
13 Jun 2007
Grabber picture

The open/close manipulator is useful tool to retrieve small objects or attach a line to objects located underwater.

The jaws of are driven by the electric screwdriver. Using electric screwdriver has many advantages:

  • Easy available
  • Cheap, cost about 5€.
  • Powerful - 2.4Nm
  • Planetary gearbox

06 Dec 2006
RS485 board

RS485 is an alternatve for RS232 for long distances. Maximum length of the cable for RS232 is only 15m. For RS485 it is about 1200m. In addition you can connect many devices to RS485 bus (unlike RS232 — only 2).
Send/receive mode is selected by RTS signal. The converter was designed to be as simple as possible, so it has no some features that can be found in commercial grade products (e.g. galvanic separation).

05 Dec 2006
Control Unit board

Device was designed to be used as control unit for ROV or any other remotely controlled robot. As primary communication interface is used RS485. It allows controlling robot using 1200m long cable.
Several other interfaces allows reading data like temperature, depth and heading.

Normally ROV receives commands from the surface and sends back data read from sensors. Special software has to be written to perform this task.

01 Dec 2006

The main problem in thruster design is how to isolate engine from water. There are three solutions used to keep engines away from water:

  • O-ring
  • Rotary shaft seal
  • Magnetic coupling

The best and more complicated is solution 3. The engine is perfectly isolated from water because it is connected to the propeller using magnetic coupler.
Solutions 2 and 3 are similar. In addition it is recommended to fill the engine housing with the oil to compensate pressure.

27 Nov 2006
JTAG board

This article provides information about JTAG interface and describes how to create simple working device. This interface is original design of Aquaticus ROV team. Since 2006 it became quite popular among hobbyists thanks to its simplicity and usability.

15 Nov 2006

One of the best methods to visualize ROV data is to show them as overlay on images from camera.
This project can be used in any ROV. It presents data read from sensors mixed with video signal from camera. It can read data from analog 4-20mA sensors and from I²C chips. Although project assume usage of specific sensors, any I²C or 4-20mA sensors can be used. Only software needs small modifications.

06 Jun 2006
I2C driver board


  • I²C bus, only 2 microcontroller lines are required
  • 8 independent channels, each 500mA (650mA peak)
  • Output can be paralleled
  • Controls 2 unipolar steppers 500mA/phase or 1 stepper 1000mA/phase
  • Selectable I²C address
  • Externally powered (50V max) or 5V from I²C header
  • Simple small single sided PCB
  • Based on cheap and popular ICs


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