The Submerse crew recently debuted a rugged, modular quadcopter built around Atmel-based Arduino hardware and open source software. Dubbed SwiftBot WP, the UAV is designed specifically to tackle the next frontier in robotic exploration – the ocean.
“We want to be able to safely land on the surface of the ocean, or navigate over a reef while transmitting live underwater video,” a Submerse rep explained in a recent Kickstarter post. “Our goal is to accomplish this completely autonomously: take off from the beach, see live video, and return home, all without pilot intervention. [And] while we’ve made the SwiftBot water-resistant, our next task is to make it waterproof.”
Unsurprisingly, the SwiftBot uses 3D printed parts, as the fuselage, electronics enclosures and camera anti-vibration mount are all printed.
“3D parts make our quadcopter unique: it’s infinitely customizable. Our 3D parts library allows users to pick and choose how they’d like to personalize their SwiftBot,” the rep continued.
“[Similarly], we have chosen to use open source software, hardware, and design, to make it easy for DIY’ers, Makers, roboticists, researchers and multirotor enthusiasts to partner with us to develop, improve and expand the applications for these amazing new robotic devices.”
Additional key specs include:
- 450mm wheelbase that incorporates ultra-high strength plastic motor arms.
- High-strength PCB-material hub.
- Four powerful electric motors and 10” propellers, allowing the UAV to easily carry a small camera.
- 30A Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs).
- A high-discharge-rate LiPo battery pack, offering ample power available for extreme maneuvering and aerial acrobatics.
- Open-source flight controller hardware and software (automatic updates).
- System can be customized to add sensors, lights, alarms, retractable landing gear and camera gimbals.
- Easy quad to hex upgradability.