Inside Unmanned Systems

FEB-MAR 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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45 unmanned systems inside February/March 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. more than 3,000 of them. In fact, I think that would make us the largest volume ROV manu- facturer in the world," Stackpole said. Those kits, now on version 8 of the Series 2 design, have fueled the growth of a worldwide community. Fostered by Lane, that community embraces everyone from developers who swap enhancement how-tos on GitHub to amateur explorers checking out local lakes and research- ers doing basic science. "If you do a search on Google scholar you'll find that more than 100 unique published aca- demic papers have been published using Open- ROV as a tool," Stackpole said. "So it's been an extremely powerful tool in research and devel- opment and academia." Those who want to share what they find can post project reports and video at the firm's af- filiated OpenExplorer website (www.openex- plorer.com). The entries there describe efforts to survey the Indian Ocean to help save blue whales from ship strikes, slow the disappear- ance of starfish due to seastar wasting syn- drome and look for the "lost sharks" of San Francisco Bay. The latest kit comes with 100 meters of teth- er, an HD camera, extra wires for add-ons and a battery that will power the water drone for 2 to 3 hours down to depths of 100 meters. Trident Not everyone, however, is adept at building things, so the firm launched another Kickstart- er campaign in 2015 to win support for a new, fully assembled ROV called the Trident. "We realize that there's a really big barrier to en- try if you have to build the kit, so the Trident kind of addresses that," Stackpole said. "It's the ready- to-go-out-of-the-box, high-performance vehicle that anyone who wants to use it…can get." The Trident has a wing-like taper front to back and moves fast. There are two horizontal thrusters at the rear and one vertical thruster that is sort of in the middle. Specifically it is off center, a design choice that makes the Trident pitch at high speeds but still enables it to hover without pitching. The 3.4-kilogram drone is small enough to fit under an airline seat. It is rated to a depth of 100 meters and comes with a 100-meter tether, though a 300-meter one will be available. The The Trident is fast, portable and has an HD camera specially tweaked for underwater photography. "IT ALL STARTED with a story of buried treasure." Eric Stackpole, co-founder, OpenROV

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