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Starfish is an underwater tethered robot that can search, grapple and retrieve objects from lake, river and ocean floor.
Starfish is an underwater tethered robot DRONE that can search, grapple and retrieve objects from lake, river and ocean floor.
Starfish is an underwater tethered robot DRONE that can search, grapple and retrieve objects from lake, river and ocean floor.
11 backers pledged CA$ 48,135 to help bring this project to life.

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Starfish Underwater Quadradiver Robot

CA$ 48,135

11

Starfish

The underwater Quadradiver Robot

By SheerTech


The Goal: Is to enable anyone to explore, find and retrieve objects of up to 500 lbs dry weight from up to 300 feet below the surface.

Starfish is an underwater tethered robot that can search, grapple and retrieve objects from a lake, river and ocean floor.It can be used to explore the underwater realm, retrieve items lost overboard from your boat or anchor a boat to an underwater mooring.  It could be used to inspect the inside of enclosed underwater environments.

As shown in the picture of the model below, Starfish is small and light enough to hold in your hand and carry onboard a small vessel or the trunk of your car.

Full scale model of Starfish
Full scale model of Starfish
Top View of Starfish model
Top View of Starfish model

Powered from a standard 12VDC power supply, Starfish is controlled from a computer tablet using a USB or Bluetooth connection for communication.Starfish has positive buoyancy and therefore can be deployed on the surface of the water while the system is made ready for use.

Starfish ready to deploy
Starfish ready to deploy

The four thrusters operate in the same manner as those found on Starfish’s airborne cousins the quadracopter allowing the unit to maneuver and hover underwater.The onboard camera feeds video to your tablet screen and using simple tilt controls of the tablet will maneuver Starfish as desired.

Lights and video on ready for dive
Lights and video on ready for dive

Unlike airborne quadracopters the starfish umbilical allows unlimited search time down to 300 ft below the surface, something amateur scuba cannot yet achieve.

capture of bike at lake bottom
capture of bike at lake bottom

Retrieval of Starfish is easy since turning off the thrusters allows the positively buoyant Starfish to rise to the surface.After grappling an object the umbilical is wound in by hand or other means to retrieve the sunken treasure.

bike on its way to the surface
bike on its way to the surface
sunken treasure in hand
sunken treasure in hand

Since Starfish is easy to deploy, it could be called in to search for a child or adult missing from the water surface.Its video camera and end effecter claw would allow a rescue team to search for and grapple a human pulling them to the surface without having to wait for a dive team to arrive on site.The quick deploy and search with Starfish could in some cases, turn what would have been diver retrieval into a rescue, especially for persons lost under ice covered water where time for rescue can be extended.

Starfish works in both salt and fresh water with a simple rinse with fresh water being required before storage.

Starfish is the brainchild of the designers at SheerTech.A small four person industrial animation and design company based in Sarnia Ontario Canada.  We have developed a prototype system already as proof of concept.  You can see the first tests as shown in the video below that includes recovery of a cell phone from the lake floor.

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Upon successful completion of Kickstarter we look forward to developing a complete family of Starfish underwater robots beginning with this first 18 inch diameter model as shown in this project.We expect to deliver finished ready to go Starfish product by April 15 2016.

Check out third party review of starfish at this YouTube Link from Crowdfunding Review

Risks and challenges

Starfish has unique challenges due to the environment it operates in. Unlike its airborne cousins the quadracopter-drone, Starfish cannot take advantage of radio communications under the water. GPS and other systems used to guide and “fly” drones would be unreliable at depth. For this reason Inertial Navigation and surface communications must help navigate and automate Starfish “flight” in a different manner. Although we know of technology that can answer all these issues integration of the system could present difficulties for this project. We have built the delivery date with those design challenges in mind.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • Get your name listed on the Starfish site as a backer of the project

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    1 backer
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 45 or more About $36

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • A starfish mouse pad

    and
    Your name listed as a Starfish backer on the web site

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    0 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 95 or more About $75

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • A starfish mouse pad
    • A monthly update on project progress

    and
    Your name listed as a Starfish backer on the web site

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 290 or more About $230

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • A Starfish mouspad and T-shirt
    • Odds are 1 in how many are at this pledge level.
    • A monthly update on project progress
    and
    Your name listed as a Starfish backer on the web site

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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,990 or more About $1,576

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • One fully functional Starfish with 150 ft umbilical
    • A Starfish mouse pad
    and
    Your name listed as a Starfish backer on the web site

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 2,950 or more About $2,336

    Upon project completion you will receive:

    • One fully functional Starfish with 300 ft umbilical
    • One extra effecter including a basic claw
    • A Starfish mouse pad
    and
    Your name listed as a Starfish backer on the web site

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    6 backers
    CA$
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Funding period

- (30 days)