Feedback from the Field (Trident Kickstarter Update #27)
Original post : December 12, 2017
We’re continuing to ship Tridents out to the first batch of beta users. So far, the feedback has been positive, and we’re getting some incredible footage and stories.
If you’ve missed our posts on social media, you may have missed this awesome video we got back from a Trident diving with sea lions near the Farallon Islands.
Sea lions near the Farallon Islands
Another community member filmed some educational programming in Australia, and (with permission from the producer) we have a clip from that here:
We’ve also gotten some great feedback from some early beta users on social media such as this post from one of our community members on Facebook.
As we continue to gather feedback, we’re growing more confident in the production process. There are already a few process and design changes we're making based on what we've learned from the beta program so far. For example, we noticed that one of the pins on our tether connector was oxidizing when left wet after high numbers of saltwater dives due to how it was attached to our internal electronics. The fix for this was fairly straightforward and we’ve already instituted the necessary changes in our motherboard, but we’re happy we’ve been doing beta testing to find these types of issues early. Production and shipping will continue to steadily scale from here.
Early beta units preparing to ship
Since the beginning, we've fielded questions about the best device to use for controlling Trident, and many users indicated they'd like a dedicated controller for the system. We heard these requests loud and clear, and we've made it happen. We’ve vetted a custom handheld console that we feel is optimal in many ways for making deployments easy and effective. There are many Android phones and tablets that work very well for controlling the vehicle, especially when paired with external joysticks that allow for tactile control, but if you want a controller with everything built into one device, the system we’re recommending is a great way to go.
The OpenROV Trident Controller
You can pre-order the new Trident Controller directly from our store. It comes with OpenROV Cockpit pre-installed, has a great battery life (even with the screen constantly on), and also features high-sensitivity joysticks that allow for very precise control of the vehicle. One element of the controller we’re particularly excited about is a mini HDMI output port - so you can easily display your dive on a much larger screen or FPV goggles.
Mini HDMI output port makes it easy to share your dive with others
Accessory Platform Design
Now that we have locked down Trident’s design and are in production, we’d like to empower more people to get involved with building their own accessories for Trident. To help with that, we’ve published a STEP file for the outer profile of Trident on Github. This model includes the mounting hole pattern located on the bottom of Trident, which should be useful for anyone who’d like to attach external devices to the vehicle. We’ll also publish more about the interface between these devices and Trident’s onboard WiFi for communications shortly.
Of course, we’re always interested in what accessories people would like to see available for their Trident, so if there are specific payloads that you think OpenROV should look into, please feel free to suggest those here!
We’re really excited to have finally reached this step, and will continue sharing feedback and information from the beta program with you. We expect to complete the beta phase in January, and will begin fulfilling orders as our production line scales up. Stay tuned for more information about this in the next month.
Thank you very much!