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The RGU ROV

kit: introduction



The kit and accompanying instructions were originally produced for a
workshop organized and supervised by RGU staff. These additional notes are
intended to enable a responsible adult to supervise assembly of the kit. The
original kit was built by groups that included P6 and P7 children with
appropriate help and very close supervision.

The kit is supplied for construction and use off RGU premises on the
understanding that anyone in possession of the kit understands and is
qualified to carry out the assembly and take full responsibility for its
construction and use.
Produced by the School of Engineering, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
G Dunbar, J Still, T McKay, S Allardyce 2003-2007 www.rgu.ac.uk/eng
Produced by the School of Engineering, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
G Dunbar, J Still, T McKay, S Allardyce 2003-2007 www.rgu.ac.uk/eng
Supplementary Notes
Please read the instructions thoroughly and become familiar with all the
components before starting.

Assembly of the kit involves soldering and the use of small hand tools. If you
do not feel confident to carry out assembly please return the kit. It may be
possible to arrange for your group to construct the kit under the supervision of
RGU staff at RGU or at schools within reasonable travelling distance of RGU.

Tools Required:
1. Soldering kit
2. Small wire cutters
3. Small flat-bladed screwdriver
4. Appropriate safety wear and protection

Time for completion: 2 4 hours (depending on age and level of supervision).

Frame Construction: (refer to the sheets Making the ROV frame)
The frame is made from nylon tube supplied in coils and the pieces may be
slightly curved. Gentle bending by hand may be needed to straighten them. It
may help to leave them in a warm place to relax. The nylon Tee-pieces are
likely to be a tight fit and small children will need assistance assembling
them. Warming the tubes may help. When it comes to bending the curved
pieces (step 9), do this in stages, gradually easing the tube into a tighter
curve otherwise the tube will kink.
If the propeller has not already been fitted to the motor then fit it by placing
the motor on a hard surface so the shaft is pointing vertically. Make sure the
other end of the shaft is pressing against the hard surface so it takes the
force of pressing the propeller home. If this is not done you may damage the
motor bearings and even end up pushing the motor out of its case.

Produced by the School of Engineering, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
G Dunbar, J Still, T McKay, S Allardyce 2003-2007 www.rgu.ac.uk/eng
Buoyancy:
Ideally the ROV should be neutrally buoyant so that in theory it should neither
float nor sink. The vertical thruster is needed only to change depth. It is
difficult to achieve but careful adjustment of the ballast will make the ROV
easier and more enjoyable to fly. Metal washers, nuts or other small objects
can be used to adjust the ballast by hanging them on the pegs on the ROV
frame.
It is interesting to observe that even a small change in ballast will make the
ROV sink or float and that it may even be possible to observe changes in
buoyancy with water temperature. Do not use salt to change the density of
the water as it will damage the ROV. However this could be the basis of
different experiments (the Dead Sea effect) on (say) a weighed cork. Variable
buoyancy could be investigated by making a simple Archimedes Diver using
a fizzy drinks bottle.

Components:
The materials and components in this kit were bought from suppliers that
include following:

Rapid Electronics for most of the electronic components,
RS Components for the nylon tube (pneumatic hose),
K&M (Wholesale Suppliers) Ltd for the propellers, barbed Tees and plastic,
Opitec-Hobbyfix for the new style propellers,
B&Q for the L-brackets.

Boots the Chemist (Aberdeen Bon Accord Centre) kindly donated the film
canisters.

The School of Engineering has plans to include full instructions for the kit on
its web page.

Aberdeen Maritime Museum:
For further information on ROVs, visit the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. The
museum houses the UKs first (and the only free) public interactive ROV
exhibit. The ROV was designed and built by students at the School of
Engineering at the Robert Gordon University.







Disk Ref: E:\InsE&T Course\Peterhead 20 Feb 2007\ROV Instructions Compressed\00 ROV Instructions Additional revised.doc
Revised: 08 March 2007

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