The high levels of radioactivity in the waters off the Fukushima nuclear plant require constant monitoring, which is best conducted without exposing human workers. Hence this design for a teleoperated radioactivity sample boat.
To make the modification effort as simple as possible, I borrowed heavily from my wheeled TOR designs. As for the boat, the design was downloaded from Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse, and the only significant modification was to remove the driver’s seat to make room for the robot housing.
A servo steers the boat, while a linear actuator adjusts the throttle. What about ignition, lighting, etc.? Rather than having mechanical interfaces, it might be best to get under the dashboard and hack into the wiring, but an additional, smaller robot arm could certainly be tasked with punching buttons.
Other than video, all telemetry and control can be interfaced through a single Arduino with communications via XBee shield. Onboard telemetry should include a GPS module.
Sorry, I didn’t have time today to do the sample collecting equipment.