Monthly Archives: September 2014

It’s The BOM, Yo

Congratulations to the lads at Blue Robotics, who met their Kickstarter funding goal… twice over, with a little help from Poolbot.  This means that 3 T100 thrusters, with electronic speed controllers (ESCs), will arrive here within 2-3 months.

With the thrusters being an integral part of the Mk III design, it’s time to consider the actual total costs of Poolbot’s makeover.  Presenting the bill of materials (BOM)…

As seen below, the low-cost MIT SeaPerch design is now firmly in the rear-view mirror.  Fortunately, many of these items were already on-hand.  The costs of the larger PVC and sealing the solar panels against water are not shown.

Bill of Materials
Bill of Materials


Mk III Takes Shape

Poolbot is evolving. The original prototype successfully floated and dove, while the addition of the ComPod credibly turned it into Poolbot Mk II.

Mk III is now taking shape.

The technical details for the Mk III will be posted soon. However, the basics design involves the same core electronics as before plus new physical features:

  • separate compartments for the thruster batteries
  • solar panel mounts
  • new thrusters
  • solid frame for the electronics
  • hollow posts for communications antennas and the GPS module

The last two can be seen below.  Thanks to Open Beam, some standoffs and a sheet of acrylic, the electronics will have a solid mounting and cleaner wiring.  The Mega and two separate dummy shields should suffice to connect everything.

Open Beam, acrylic, and Mega
Open Beam, acrylic, and Mega

Using a blank perfboard, PVC, epoxy, a plastic I-beam, and a Dremel, a pretty smart-looking GPS post has taken shape. The SUP 500 was removed from its old shield and soldered directly, with backup battery, to the perfboard. Tested with SkyTraq, it works like a champ.

New Mount for the SUP 500 GPS Module
New Mount for the SUP 500 GPS Module