ROV Frame


Introduction: ROV Frame

Here I've broken down how to build a simple ROV frame.
Here's what you'll need:
  • PVC Pipe
  • PVC Elbows/Joints
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Pipe Cutters/saw
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Step 1: Find a Design

The first step to building your frame would be to do some research on what type of frame you would like to build. You can just Google some images for different types of frame structure, but if your robot will be used for more sophisticated projects such as personal marine research or national competitions, you should consider looking at NOAA's website. I have given a few examples of designs above.

Step 2: Planning Your Layout

Once you have your desired frame design, now it is time to figure out your dimensions. Depending on if you're in a competition or not, you may want to figure out the maximum width/length/height allowed by the judges. If you do not have size requirements, just build a frame with sizes compatible to your motor. If your frame is to big/heavy for the motor, it could cause malfunctions or your ROV just won't maneuver with ease. Above is the layout of my ROV. Now would also be the time to make any alterations to the design it self, if you choose.

Step 3: Pick Your Materials & Start Cutting

For the basic ROV's we have created, we used PVC pipe and joints. You can use different materials, but depending on you're budget and the desired quality of your ROV, PVC pipe is sturdy and is very cheap. For the PVC joints, you will have to figure out which type of joints and the quantity of them. Once you have figured out quantities, measurements, etc., you can start cutting your pipe. you can use pipe cutters, but I have found it easy to use the device above (image one) and a saw. With this device, you get a cleaner cut than with pipe cutters.

Step 4: Drill Holes

The next step your going to do is to drill holes in the pipe and joints. You need to drill holes into the pipe and joints because it will help your ROV sink below the surface and not floating to the top of the surface. But adding buoyancy foam or tubing later on will help your ROV float under water and maneuver with ease.

Step 5: Put It All Together (Final Step)

So after you have all the cut pieces and joints, now you just have to put it together, and make adjustments (if needed/desired). You can easily put it together with your hands, and your finished with your frame. Above are some frames that students from our school district put together.

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    Silicone has roughly the same density as water. If the pipes were filled with silicone, then you would not have to deal with bleeding the air going down and drying out the rig at the end of a session.