By abstracting away that schlep for me, - a schlep, which is usually the least interesting bit about a machine - these guys might be able to create something analogous to Arduino for marine robots. Before Arduino, you needed a complete test bed to get a micro-controller up and running. After Arduino, you usually focus on what you want to do, instead of getting the micro-controller to work. That shift makes creating something extremely accessible, allowing anyone to jump in and try things out. A line of products like these, might actually make robotics far more accessible than any number of kits before it. In other words, this could be the start of something incredible.
Edit: I just realised another way of phrasing what they're doing. Imagine how hard payments was before Stripe came along. These people are basically the Stripe for marine robotics, which is really awesome.
Reading that paper inspired me to look into this and I ended up trying to make a submersible with the limited budget I had. It was very frustrating and I just gave up and ended up trying to make linear actuators for touch sensing instead.
I guess you'd just need a really high voltage?
There does not have to be interface. Put stator inside and rotor outside, aquarium pumps works on similar principle.
It works if the isolation layer is very thin. However, that prevents you from going deep because of the pressure differential. Now, I wonder if you filled the sub with something inert and kept the layer thin, then the pressure differential would be a lot less and the layer a lot less likely to rip open. Might work.
> I just realised another way of phrasing what they're doing. Imagine how hard payments was before Stripe came along. These people are basically the Stripe for marine robotics
Hey, didn't you get the "schlep" and "Stripe" part from ? ;).
 - http://paulgraham.com/schlep.html
For people interested in this I recommend checking out the RobotSub  competition. Each team releases papers allowing you to see how the whole vehicle fits together.
0 - http://www.seabotix.com/
1 - http://www.seabotix.com/products/auv_thrusters.htm
2 - http://www.auvsifoundation.org/foundation/competitions/robos...
No indication of how BlueRobotics' thruster actually fixes this problem other than the fact that they claim they fixed it.
> Many of the T100′s components are American made and sourced. It’s assembled in the USA. We’re proud of that.
Is that "made in the USA" thing really such a big selling point in the US? Because to me as an European that really is a little alienating. A "made in the US" logo - ok. But pointing out the proudness in marketing materials? Strange.
It's interesting that this particular product would make use of the gimmick, however, given it's potential international market.
I feel left out in the coming 'robotics revolution'. I am planning to take a couple of years off from work and switch careers into something robotics. I've been building my math base past couple of months, but I am utterly clueless as to where to even start with robotics.
So depending on where you find yourself most comfortable consider focusing on that part of the problem. Could be algorithms (software focus), could be mechanics, could be 'mechatronics' (which is the term the local community college uses for a combined electronics/mechanical engineering sort of curriculum).
For embedded hardware, I'm a big fan of the BeagleBone Black. People talk a lot about the Raspberry Pi, but the BeagleBone makes a bit more sense. Look at the OpenROV project as a good example of that.
Lower level, there is a lot of stuff related to feedback controlled (closed loop) motor controllers that is key.
Higher level, pathfinding AI is interesting. Even things like inverse kinematics, thought that is largely a solved problem.
Some of my favorite books are Probabilistic Robotics for the theoretical stuff, and Robot Builders Bonanza for the really practical hobbyist stuff.
With an EE, CS, or ME degree? Minor in biology. Nature has made by far the best robots. Definitely useful to learn from it.
Edit: Found it: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-insect-has...
I am worried they allow water running through the assembly, sea water is very corrosive and can't be in contact with any interesting materials (e.g. high performance magnets). /*
/* ok they use plastic bearings and stuff, not sure what the magnets are.
The surfboard is interesting. Having listened to some of the issues the wave-glider ran into in order to operate autonomously on the ocean I expect the same sort of folks will come talk to them. I heard a story (and it could be just that), that one of the wave glider experiments was going to be to count whales along the California coast, the plan was to put an active sonar pinger on the robot and ping once an hour to see if there were any whales nearby. The story goes that the project was shelved when the Navy called and informed them they would not be putting active sonar pingers into US coastal waters.
This makes no sense. Active sonar pingers are on pretty much all boats apart from small dingies.
The whale monitoring I'm familiar with is all passive listening as well. The navy has a long history of pissing off marine mammal experts by blowing things up underwater, so it makes sense that the Office of Naval Research wouldn't fund active sonar. So your recollection has elements of truth.
Seeing this brought back memories. A self-contained thruster unit intended for integration into a larger robot might just have saved our project, had it been available four years ago.
Also, the thrust and efficiency looks crazy good on those! At 50% it looks like 1.2kg + what looks like 30g/W, which is insane efficiency compared to multirotor motors on the market now. I'm guessing the fact that you're in water helps substantially with that, right?
"The push out to sea is spurred by increased crackdowns on the border, and pangas loaded with multiple fuel barrels have been spotted as far north as San Francisco. The Los Angeles and Long Beach areas have seen a similar increase in incidents."
Lets see, to ship ~$6 million worth of pot paying someone a small fraction to drive a boat up the coast, plus a few thousand for a boat, I'm not seeing a reason why they'd want to make a drone sub to do this.