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Nokken-3 Subsea Exploration Robot

Eirik Taylor’s Nokken-3 ROV is the latest iteration of his long-running submersible project.

The ROV housing itself was constructed using a sheet of plexiglas, which was welded first using acetone to hold the pieces in place, then glued later with epoxy. The potting substance used this time is laminating epoxy, commonly used to repair fiberglass constructs in marine applications. It’s very expensive, but resilient and easy to use thanks to it’s low viscosity. I made the mistake of not minimizing the potting volume before I starting pouring the epoxy. I had purchased 1,8 liters of resin thinking it would be more than enough, but I quickly saw that was not the case. With the insane cost of the stuff I was not willing to buy another batch, so I quickly chopped up some blocks of wood which I threw into the ROV shell. I’m not sure if the resin is simply exothermic while hardening, or if it reacts with wood, but either way this resulted in a foamy mass forming around the wood blocks. I don’t think this will be a problem, but it doesn’t look good. Had I known this before hand I would have used sand as fill mass, since it is chemically inert and inherently waterproof. “Standard Buccaneer” connectors from Bulgin were used for all connections on the ROV. This includes the motors which are permanently fastened. These connectors are waterproof down to 100 meters for 12 hours if assembled correctly. The LEDs were mounted inside of the ROV to save on connectors and the added complexity of waterproofing them.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

2 thoughts on “Nokken-3 Subsea Exploration Robot

  1. Epoxy is great stuff, but is quite exothermic – you really need to be careful about how much you mix up at once. Normally it is used in wide thin layers, which helps to dissipate the heat – the problems usually come at the mixing stage. As Eirik found, when using it for potting, finding cheaper materials to fill most of the space is a really good idea. High-density plastics might also be a good choice for this – sand is heavy! One issue with using epoxy for a project like this is that once set, you won’t ever be making any alterations! Eirik might consider using a non-conductive fluid instead – this solves the compressibility problem, although it also increases the risk of water ingress a little (the hull has to be watertight or the fluid escapes).

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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