In FIRST there is a running joke about an underwater game. This thruster brings that possibility a little bit closer. We still have the field problems, but hey that could be the next Kickstarter project!
This seems like a typical “good idea, but flawed execution” Kickstarter. These guys aren’t providing much in the way of information on their supply chain other than “your money will help us set up an assembly process” and “we’ve sourced some parts from China”. They’re aiming to ship by the end of this year, which is ludicrously optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, this could be one of those kickstarted projects that turns out well; but I’ll wait until a finished product shows up before tossing in my money.
@T^2 - This is Rusty from BlueRobotics. We totally understand your concern and we probably need to add more detail about our supply chain to the KS page. The KS page was getting really long so we trimmed some things out. I’d be happy to tell you more about it though!
First the product is primarily injection molded plastic parts. We won the “Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award” a few months ago and that company covered all of our injection molding costs. If you’re familiar with how much injection mold tooling costs, that’s really really awesome. The tooling is done, tested, and we’ve made a bunch of prototypes with the parts.
In terms of the rest of the parts, we’ve been working with an awesome supplier in China. We found them online and got really lucky based on what I’ve heard from other peoples experiences. They’ve made samples of all the parts they will be building and have done an incredible job. We are very confident in those parts.
The toughest thing, honestly, has been the stator winding labor. Because of that we’ve devoted a lot of attention to making sure that happens smoothly. We have two suppliers with adequate quotes - both of which will do very high quality work in North America. Nevertheless we’re looking into more options as backups.
There are few parts that come from US suppliers like the custom cable. We’ve been working with that company for months now and tested a lot of cable samples. We consider that very low risk.
I think that covers most things and I hope it clears it up for you! If you have any more questions feel free!
A Thruster and ESC for just $120? Seems like a really nice deal. I have been looking into a cheap waterproof solution for some RC boats some friends and I want to make will likely end up totally sinking. This solution is half the price we want to pay and better than our current idea.
For those in this thread who deal with aquatics stuff, I am having trouble visualizing 5lbs of thrust. With a 10-15lb surface craft About 3’ long, 9" wide, sitting 4" in the water, for a reasonable speed would I need 1 or 2 of these? It doesn’t need to be zipping around, maybe 4-5’/s.
I love how they are using APM 2.6! I have a quadrotor using a Pixhawk (pretty much the same thing) and I love it. It’s very open source which is why I support it and it is superior over the DJI controller
Hello everyone! Thanks for the positive comments. We’re really excited to be past our goal and now we have some cool stretch goals. We still have 24 days left so be sure to spread the word to other teams and friends. Thanks!
@BBray_T1296 - Thanks! I’m glad you like the thruster. Just for reference, we are using two thrusters on an 8ft long, 2ft wide surfboard that weighs around 40 lb and it goes up to 6 ft/s. For a smaller vessel, one may work fine. The thrusters are most efficient at lower throttle settings so if you want very high efficiency you may want to use two. We are using two for skid steering so that we don’t need a rudder.