This manual explains the basics for operating the BlueROV2.
- Preparation: Before putting the BlueROV2 in the water, there are a few things that you need to do in order to ensure the system and operator.
- Operation: This manual sets down the guidelines to optimize the ROV capacities and safety (Good practices).
- Maintenance: After each field test, it is necessary to check some components of the system.
The ROV is delivered assembled and ready to work. If you have any question about the assembly or you need to disassemble it, please see the Online Assembly Manual. The ROV is controlled with QGroundControl, a software to control aerial drones. This software has been adapted to this area so there may be some functions not needed for this device.
Read more information about the operation of the ROV at Online Assembly Manual.
The following resources are required:
- Laptop computer (Windows 10, OSX o Linux)
- Control Software: QGroundControl
- Standard PC joystick (for instance: Logitech F310 Gamepad)
- Li-Po Battery (Recommendation: 10000 mAh)
- Surface box (Fathom-X)
- Analog video card (for standard camera)
- USB to Ethernet adapter. (Optional: whether the laptop does not have Ethernet port)
- Due to the fact that the connections use an Internet Protocol, it is necessary to set a fixed IP address (192.168.2.1) to be able to receive video images and other communications. This IP is set in a different way in each operating system:
1. In the search box in the taskbar, write View network connections and after that, click on View network connections on the upper part of the list
2. Right click on the Ethernet adapter, then choose Properties
- In the properties dialog, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click Properties.
- Select “Use the following IP address” And enter 192.168.2.1for the IP address and 255.255.255.0 for the Subnet mask. Then select OK.
1. Go to System Preferences > Network. Then, select Ethernet from the options on the left side. Select the dropdown next to “Configure IPv4” and then select “Manually”. Enter 192.168.2.1 for the IP Address and 255-255-255-0 for the Subnet Mask and then select apply.
2. Go to Sharing and select “Internet Sharing”. Select “Wi-Fi” from the “Share your connection from” dropdown. Select “USB 10/100 LAN” (if using the recommended Ethernet USB adaptor) or your Ethernet port or adapter from the “To computers using” menu.
Previous operations (recommended)
- Carry out a vacuum test in the electronics enclosure to check that no seal is compromised (it must be done in both enclosures at the same time).
Extract the air with the vacuum pump up to 10 mmHg. If the pressure is higher than 9 mmHg after 15 minutes, the enclosures are OK.
In case of water leaks, take into account the following information:
- Epoxy is not usually problematic if placed properly. However, if the clamping system of the umbilical cable is removed, the epoxy could be broken.
- A hole in the isolating material of the external cables could produce water leaks
- A poor maintenance of the O-rings could provoke water leaks. They should be protected for dirt and lubricated with silicone grease.
- It is advisable to assembly the ROV on the ground before diving to check that everything is OK. (It is common to listen a strong noise when engines are dry and working)
- It is advisable to use a silicon spray for the engines to add extra protection and extend the useful life.
Getting ready for the first dive
Before putting the ROV in the water:
1. Remove the rear vent plug from the battery enclosure.
2. Remove the waterproof cap from the battery enclosure.
3. Connect the battery and close the enclosure. After connecting the battery, the ROV will turn on.
4. Make sure that the waterproof caps of the both enclosures are tightened.
5. Connect the umbilical to the surface box, and this one to the computer joystick.
6. Open QGroundControl and everything is now ready for the first dive.
Note: it is necessary to connect the joystick before opening the app, otherwise it will not be recognized and QGroundControl will have to be restarted.
Once QGroundControl recognizes the ROV, the video will be displayed at the main screen.
On the upper bar, different program tabs will be displayed:
|Mission programing. (disabled by default)|
If the video is not displayed, check the video configuration at Program Setting/Genera/Video.
The first time you use a new joystick or gamepad in QGroundControl, you will be asked to calibrate it. For this purpose, you must follow this process:
1. Go to the settings tab.
2. Select the “Joystick” tab.
3. Click on “Calibrate”
4. Follow the instructions, clicking on the “Next” button when asked.
5. When finished, the program will ask us to click on the “Next” button.
The button setup for the BlueRov2 can be set up by the user. In the image below a typical example of a control map can be seen:
Controllers customization is the procedure which consists on assign an action to each button taking into account its numeration, which depends on the joystick used.
- In the “Joystick” tab appears a list with buttons and the actions assigned to each one. Each button will be lighted up when pressed in the joystick.
Assign actions to the joystick according to the recommendation which appears on the previous section. The concordance between connections on the image and on the menu are the following:
- Mode X = Enter_Mode_X
- Camera center: mount_center
- Camera tilt up / down = mount_tilt_up/down
- Lights up/down = Lights1_brigther/dimmer
- Gain up / down = gain_inc/dec
- Arm / Disarm = arm/disarm
The three standard modes are Manual, Stabilize and Depth Hold. The first one allows to move the ROV without stabilization. It is usually used out of the water to test the thrusters. In the second mode, the ROV stabilizes roll and yaw. And in the last mode, the BlueRov2 will hold depth unless you command it to dive/ascend, so you will be able to sail without worrying about depth.
It is highly recommended to carry out some maintenance in order to extend the lifespan:
- After each operation, it is necessary to rinse the ROV with freshwater, in order to remove minerals and prevent corrosion.
- Avoid to discharge the battery under the minimum voltage. The control software monitors the battery voltage (upper bar), which cannot be lower than 3.5 V per cell in Li-Po batteries:
- 5 V in 3S batteries
- 14 V in 4S batteries
- Check regularly the O-rings of all enclosures. There must not be under no circumstances any dirt and they must be kept appropriately lubricated with silicone grease or similar.
BlueROV2 is powered with LiPo batteries which must be charged with balance chargers.
Balance charger example:
The main connector and the balance plug must the plugged into the charger
The charger should include several adapters for different types of battery connectors:
At the boot, select the program: “Lithium battery”
Search for “LiPo BALANCE CHG” and press the “ENTER” button:
Press “ENTER” for change the options (battery type and current):
Press and hold “ENTER” and the charging process will start:
When the process is finished the charger will beep.
In case of any doubt, please contact the Nido Robotics team: