Miramichi River...Atlantic Salmon, Striped Bass and a Sunken Ship

September 8 2014

Expedition Video

Miramichi Valley High School in has been selected by a group called Brilliant Labs to do a technology project for the Fall of 2014. Brilliant Labs is a group that enables teachers to undertake creative, innovative and entrepreneurial projects in the classroom. Last Spring, we applied for a project grant and in June we were approved. As a result, the ‘Underwater Robots on the Miramichi’ project will allow students an opportunity to explore our river with OpenROV robots…one of which is fully assembled while the other will be built by the students. The project will be done in Computer Science 110, where Mr. Ashley Hallihan and Mrs. Kathy MacDonald will be co-teaching these students through their learning experience. Some of these students may also be involved with Mr. Hallihan's Environmental Science 120 course, where the devices will be used to further explore the Miramichi River. We are fortunate at our school to have a pool to use as a test environment and our school is on the banks of the river too! Read background

September 8 2014

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Mission Underway

Over the last few months we have been involved with a number of events that showcased our OpenROV to not only the city of Miramichi but also other schools throughout New Brunswick, Canada. Three of our students attended a Youth Entrepreneaurship Summit where our project was highlighted by the Premier of New Brunswick at the Break Thru Dinner. We also did a demo dive in our pool (best one to date) for 9 local schools who attended the Miramichi Fly Fishing & Sportsman Workshops hosted at our school. The following day we were an exhibit at the show for the public and many community members were amazed at the technology. Lastly, we did a dive in a trout pond at the Miramichi Salmon Association that is one of the oldest hatchery's in Canada.
Check out the summary video of our dive and be watching for us again as we get closer to our goal of getting video of Atlantic Salmon and Striped bass in the Miramichi River!

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MVHS 0 comments

We were pleased with our latest dive as we were able to test a lot of the issues and they were all successful with NO LEAKS. Actually observed the condensation forming on the outside of our seals and no water in the camera tube. The obstacle course idea was neat but we were not that skilled as this was our first time using a gamepad for control. Looking forward to our next dive where we will further explore the controls of the ROV in preparation for a Spring dive on a Miramichi watershed. We also need a better tether management system along with more weights on the bottom as we find the ROV is too buoyant.

We are quite busy with our MAKER course as it has taken on a life of its own. We are exploring technologies involving: MAKE Electronics, Sparkfun Inventors Kits, Makey Makey, Drones, Animatronics, Mectronics and GoPro videography. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel as we are documenting these experiences.

We have been chosen as a finalist at our District's CUTE Awards (Creative Use of Technology) in the 21st Century Learning Category - High School. As well, one of our team members is a finalist in the School Spirit Video Contest. Here are some links to the awards as well as the 'What's Cool About MV' video...

asd-n.nbed.nb.ca/cute-awards-2015

youtube.com/watch?v=JdbwKjwNUVQ

Lastly, we have been selected to attend the YES - Atlantic Conference (Youth Entrepreneurship Summit) and we will be featured at their dinner before the event. I along with 3 team members will be traveling to the event...students are really excited about this opportunity! Check out what we will be experiencing...

yes-atlantic.com

frederictonconventions.ca/events/nbif/?date=2015-03-19

We will be posting summary videos of all these events on our YouTube Channel for those who are interest...stay tuned for our next test dive!

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MVHS 2 comments

Congratulations on being invited to the Summit! As for condensation, I recommend taping a desiccant pack inside the tube and sealing it up at least 3 hours before deployment. This gives it a chance to pull moisture out of that volume of air. Nice work!!!

Congrats on all the good news! Great to see it swimming.

New endcap, o-rings and electronics tube have arrived and all assembled...many thanks to the support team at OpenROV! We have an underwater obstacle course designed with pool noodles for pilons, a cap-sized canoe and floating hoops - time to test our driving techniques with a GAMEPAD! At the same time, we are hoping that our water leak issue is fixed.

Our test dive is planned for Thursday in our pool. We plan on getting lots of video and images to create a summary video of the test dive. Students are excited to be back in the water testing the ROV rather than in the classroom.

Be sure to check back with us after the dive...

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MVHS 1 comment

Fantastic work!! What a way to get an education. I love the focus on learning rather than results.

I look forward to more updates after today's dive

GREAT NEWS...we have fixed 2 of our 3 issues! Not only do we have control of the ROV with a keyboard, our gamepad is now working too. Many thanks to the support team at OpenROV for helping us troubleshoot these issues.

We are hopefully in the process of solving our water leak issue soon and then we are ready for testing in the pool while driving the ROV with a gamepad. Ultimately we will be planning to explore the watersheds that make Miramichi, New Brunswick special.

Our Maker course is off to a great start with students getting involved with all things STEM. We started with a Zipline Challenge build and we just finished our Bristlebot Challenge. With only 6 days into the new semester these students are really excited about the nature of this course. We plan to begin working with our Sparkfun Inventors Kits and our MAKE Electronic Toolkits. Upon completion of these we hope that our students will have a solid foundation to help them with their own MAKER projects.

The class MAKE theme will still be our MVHS Underwater Robots project where we will be testing/modifying our OpenROV with the goal of working with community groups to explore the Miramichi River.

Here is the latest video of our ROV responding to keyboard/gamepad contols..

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MVHS 0 comments

We thought we would give an update on the status of our project...

After our presentation to the community in November, we were fortunate to have an opportunity to Skype with David Lang about our project. Great opportunity for the students to ask questions and hear how the OpenROV technology developed from the one of the founders. Very insightful Skype session with some great stories and discussion. One important message was when David told the students that the greatest learning opportunities comes from failure! Most of them have been getting frustrated with the issues we were experiencing but his words encouraged them towards solving the problems.

We were determined to solve our main issue of the motors not responding to keyboard commands. We reprogrammed and calibrated the ESC's only to find out that the motors run full tilt when switches are turned back on. We then decided to burn the software release to a micro SD card and load it on to the BeagleBone. Unfortunately, this where we stopped before our Christmas break.

After our Christmas break, students returned to the course with only two weeks before the end of the semester. This meant that they had to finish the other projects in the course including one involving Makey Makey technology.

The good news is that we are offering a Maker course second semester and most of the students involved with the Underwater Robots project will be in this course too! This will now give us one period devoted to various Maker projects including OpenROV whereas last semester we only had 2 days of the week to work on the project. We are determined to use the OpenROV in the field this spring in partnership with some of the community groups that came to our presentation.

Our main issues going into this course include...

  • sealing the ROV...water leaking into the tube (a puddle after the dive)
  • motors/servos not responding to keyboard controls (run full tilt when switched on)
  • be great to have our Logitech F310 gamepad working to control the ROV (tried to do this since the beginning of the project)

Hoping to troubleshoot and resolve these issues in the new course. Be ready when we do... when the Miramichi River ice flows - our Underwater Robots project will be ready to explore!

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MVHS 3 comments

Great news on the maker course! I'll send an email with a bit more good news!

Progamming ESCs by hand is a right of Passage at OpenROV. Nice work and Good luck under the ice!

That may be the issue Erika...have we programmed them correctly?
Looking forward to the good news in your email David!

On Thursday, November 20th the students presented the Underwater Robots Project to a group from the community. Of those attending included: Superintendent of ASD-North, ASD-North Tech Team, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Miramichi Salmon Association, Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee and Canoe/Kayak NB.

Check out our video that highlights the event...

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MVHS 5 comments

So so cool! Thanks for sharing the video!

This is great! Were the department of fisheries, and salmon association pretty enthusiastic about what you might find?

P.S. Feel free to use the new tool and add a "featured video" to the top of your expedition page. Makes everything look snazzy!

Wow! This is inspiring.
Good job with your built!

Very cool! I would loved to see a full video of the presentation. Do you have it posted anywhere?

Thanks for all your comments!

Erika: the local watershed group were extremely curious and really want to have us involved with some of their projects. They are interested in the telemetry data that the ROV receives and would like to add some of their sensors to our device.

Michael: We only have video clips and pictures from the presentation as we did not record the entire session.

SInce our second dive we have been busy trying to troubleshoot some of our issues. At the end of October we were able to Skype with David Murphy and discuss his experience with ROV technology. He was also very insightful with our current issues and gave us some suggestions. Since then we were working on his suggestions and planning for our next dive to be with an audience from the community.

We now have an improved tether that has 100 ft of rope attached to the tether so that it can be used to haul in device if needed. We also added 8 ping pong balls to lift the tether and prevent drag in the water. We worked on the motors and tried to improve the sealing of the device as we got water along with condensation with our second dive.

The students have been busy planning for the third dive with guests (ASD-North Superintendent, ASD-North Tech Team, Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans, Miramichi Salmon Association, Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee, Canoe/Kayak NB): created an invitation for interested people/groups, created a brochure with an overview of the project and designed an underwater obstacle course with hopes of doing a demonstration.

On Nov. 18th we did a practice run since the presentation was planned for Nov. 20. Unfortunately, we got some water again in the camera tube and had to cancel the demonstration. Luckily the ROV powered up the next day but we lost controls of the motor/camera/lights/laser.

We are currently working on a summary video from the presentation last week and we are back in the workroom trying to get motors/controls back.

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MVHS 0 comments

SInce our second dive we have been busy trying to troubleshoot some of our issues. At the end of October we were able to Skype with David Murphy and discuss his experience with ROV technology. He was also very insightful with our current issues and gave us some suggestions. Since then we were working on his suggestions and planning for our next dive to be with an audience from the community.

We now have an improved tether that has 100 ft of rope attached to the tether so that it can be used to haul in device if needed. We also added 8 ping pong balls to lift the tether and prevent drag in the water. We worked on the motors and tried to improve the sealing of the device as we got water along with condensation with our second dive.

The students have been busy planning for the third dive with guests (ASD-North Superintendent, ASD-North Tech Team, Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans, Miramichi Salmon Association, Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee, Canoe/Kayak NB): created an invitation for interested people/groups, created a brochure with an overview of the project and designed an underwater obstacle course with hopes of doing a demonstration.

On Nov. 18th we did a practice run since the presentation was planned for Nov. 20. Unfortunately, we got some water again in the camera tube and had to cancel the demonstration. Luckily the ROV powered up the next day but we lost controls of the motor/camera/lights/laser.

We are currently working on a summary video from the presentation last week and we are back in the workroom trying to get motors/controls back.

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MVHS 0 comments
Preparation Stage

We did our second dive in the pool...this time students were in control of the ROV. Before the dive, we mounted the GoPro 3 on top of the ROV and adjusted the weights to the front bar. We also researched a way to reduce the condensation...decided to put a silica pack inside the camera tube and sprayed the o-rings with silicone spray to hopefully get a better seal. We setup the screencastify program so we could capture the cockpit this time.

See our link below to a video that highlights some of the footage captured on our dive in the pool. We had students swim with the robot so we would be able to get more dynamic video than just an empty pool. At the same time, they captured pictures/video with a GoPro 1 using a helmet mount. We also used an iphone 5s to capture some video/pictures along with the screencastify recorder and GoPro 3.

Overall, dive went well as students were able to do the following: inspect the ROV in pairs with two checklists, setup the ROV for the dive, drive the ROV using keyboard controls, capture video/pictures using cameras on their phones and swim with ROV.

We are still in need of some help with some issues...please comment if you have a solution:
- gamepad control...can copy the updated code to put into gamepad.js but unsure how to save changes in cockpit?
- water in the camera tube along with condensation...still had condensation but this time a little bit of water too? Better way to seal the device?
- rust on top motor...sprayed before dive and wiped dry after dive - unsure of how to remove props/motors to rinse with water and alcohol?
- acsend/descend seem to be switched...fix with code and load onto ROV?

Looks like we will be back into the workroom both researching and modifying the ROV before our next pool test. With any luck, we hope to sort out this issues with our third dive and our goal is to have the fourth dive somewhere on a Miramichi Watershed!

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MVHS 2 comments

Regarding the questions: definitely rinse with water and isopropyl alcohol. Did you figure out how the water got in? Around the orings or tubing through the wires?

We did a Skype this morning with David Murphy. Great session where students were able to ask questions and troubleshoot with David while gaining some insight from his experiences. He suggested using a fatter o-ring with silcone grease rather than spray.
No water came in tube on our first dive (we did not break seal on canister after receiving the ROV from you guys) but after we opened the canister to put silica pack to reduce the condensation for dive #2...that is when water came. As a result, we are thinking o-rings rather than tubing with wires.

Parts have arrived and now the building/testing begins! Last week we charged our batteries, updated the battery posts for the LiPO4 batteries, connected to the cockpit and tried to install the Logitech gamepad...having issues with the install - see latest forum post if you can help us out! We did a dive with staff members as students were home Thursday/Friday and we wanted to make sure all is good with the device. Check out the highlights of the dive from our website...

http://bit.ly/1rswBbQ

This week we hope to have the gamepad issue fixed and we plan to do a dive with the students in the pool. We will setup the GoPro on the device and setup the float with weights added to the front. We also want to capture the dive with the screencastify program.

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MVHS 2 comments

Nice pool test! As for the gamepad, are you using the F310 or another Logitech model? the openrov community has had luck with both wired and wireless models.

We are using the Logitech F310 model...we have read some forum posts and there looks to be an issue with Chrome. Brian A linked us to the post where a patch is found (replied to our post) but we are unsure of where to copy and paste this code into?

We just about ready to begin using our OpenROV...laptop, batteries and gamepad have arrived - just waiting on the battery charger. Many thanks to David Murphy for helping us get started with using our ROV!

This week students have been editing video/pictures in creating a promotional video for the MVHS Fly Fishing Club. The content being used was captured with our GoPro and Sony Underwater camera.

I have included our updated logo...added some color. We are now on Twitter and you can follow us @MVHS_ROV... we are hoping to gain some more followers. Check out the video taken with the GoPro in releasing an Atlantic Salmon on the Cains River (a tributary of the Miramichi)...

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MVHS 0 comments

We are still waiting on the arrival of our batteries and laptop. In the meantime...we have a blog of our own where students can upload text/images about the project. We have also created 'TechPoints', which are awarded when a student promotes/explores/advances the project.

Their first TechPoint Challenge was to design a logo for the project that can be used on our blogs and future social media sites. We have extended this challange to our Art 11 teacher and he is getting his students to come with designs too! We will post the logo sometime this week when a winner is decided.

The second TechPoint Challenge was to document a possible dive site.
If you are interested in checking out the student blog on the project...

dt16community.nbed.nb.ca/blogs/underwaterrobots

MVHS 6 comments

I love the idea of TechPoints. Have you written up your methodology anywhere? Might be helpful for other educators in the OpenExplorer world!

Is there a way on this site to upload a pdf file? I am willing to share the document we gave our students on the project...gives details on how we plan to implement the project into our curriculum, expectations/responsibilities and describes how students will be evaluated. May be useful for other educators who may plan a similar project...

No way to add PDFs yet. Good feature idea, though. Maybe a link to a google doc or dropbox file?

Here is a link to the project outline...feel free to share the link with other educators.
http://crwd.mp/1uP8MyN

Oops...here is an updated version - typing error in previous document.
http://crwd.mp/1r047L6

Nice Class setup. Thanks for the link!

Expedition Background

Currently, students are becoming familarized with the technology. The 'Underwater Robots on the Miramichi Project' will be the student/class project in the course. The 3 elements of the student project include: 1) weekly updates on the progress of the project from their perspective using our class blog where text/pictures/video can be uploaded; 2) presentation of their learning experience at the end of the project; and 3) submitting activities (called TechPoints) that promote/explore/advance the project. The first TechPoint opportunity is to design the logo that will be used on websites and social media sites to promote the project.

Students will be learning the Computer Science 110 curriculum 3 days of the week and the other 2 days will be devoted to working on the OpenROV project. We are still waiting to get the laptop and batteries from our grant. Once they arrive, we will have the fully assembled robot ready to be tested in the pool at our school. In the meantime, students will be using the OpenROV website to further explore the technology and check out all the other expeditions.

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MVHS 4 comments

This is fantastic! I can't wait to see what the students come up with to explore in the Miramichi. Estuaries have some of the most stunning mixes of chemistry that the diversity of life is astounding. Looking forward to following along!

Very excited to follow along! And eager to hear how OpenROV and the computer science curriculum can overlap!

Best of luck on this expedition, will be following along for updates.

Looking forward to seeing the progress here; the insight into building with students and incorporating OROV as part of the curriculum will be a great guide for others to follow.