Hey guys, back again. I've decided to hack an old RC submarine I've acquired. I ripped out all of the internal circuitry and substituted an Arduino with a motor shield in its place. I have tested the sub and I have full control of the three motors. I plan on putting a pressure sensor for depth readings also. I thought I was being somewhat original, but it turns out somebody else has done almost the exact thing I'm doing. Their project is documented here. http://www.huv.com/maus2.zip
(Thanks to JonHylands)
A couple pages about the sub:http://www.hobbytron.com/nikko-sea_wolf_rc_submarine.htmlhttp://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/nikko_seawolf/m_1976177/tm.htm
I'm pretty impressed with it, looks pretty leak proof. Its motor drives are magnetically coupled to keep the thing dry. Seems pretty robust. Also, I got it for a bargain price of 20$.
Anyway, enough gushing about the sub. Now that I have it under my control, I want to make it autonomous. To do that I need sensors. I've seen a few posts around these forums, but all I've synthesized from them is that modifying an ultrasonic range-finder won't work, underwater transducers are expensive and IR sensors may work. So, I'm turning to you guys for help. All I really want is a way to have my sub run on its own and to be aware of its environment. If it comes to it, I could even use physical "feelers" to guide it. Any ideas? How about Admin? I know you were looking for the same thing, but I never saw it resolved.
This looks encouraging, these things are small, cheap, might be hackable and may be simple enough to decode the information coming from them.
I'll try to get in contact with the manufacturer. http://www.smartcast-rf30.com/smartcast_rf30.htmhttp://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_58969_250003003_250000000_250003000_250-3-3