Captain’s Log – Day 980

Out of The Lab, I’m working from Greece, where I’ll stay until the end of April.
Finishing the so awaited second episode of ‘Built of Scratch’, I will continue with a small but pretty flexible assistant robot, capable of grappling things and taking samples underwater autonomously. Couple of these robots will be the “workers” of Neptune, during his missions.
Stay tuned and be happy!
#therareblue #builtofscratch

Oh, and “Rum to the bottom…” cuz’ things are a bit crazy these days πŸ™‚

Captain’s Log – Day 929

Special guests from Ruse were in the Lab yesterday!
With the support of a new partner from Varna, who I’ll review soon, we’ve explored some new materials and tech’s that will help our work…
Friends, combined with sea, sun, coffee, … and my lovely town noon traffic πŸ˜‰
#therareblue #fortheplanet

Captain’s Log – Day 925

What did people dream for the year 2020, 20 years ago? Flying cars, teleportrs, androids and other futuristic machines.
Well, today in 2020 there is still nothing even close to those dreams … except one…
I closed the NEPTUNE concept, eliminating fish-like “side fins” because the technology is too risky for the tough underwater environment. In their place, I design another type of side blades controlled by special jet sprays.
A graphene electrodes on each side will generate a high voltage electric field over the robot, protecting it from predators.
NEPTUNE is now becoming ATLAS and will not only be an explorer but also a “builder” of the Deep Sea.
Isn’t this futuristic enough for 2020?

Captain’s Log – Day 871

Winter is slowly coming to our town causing the rum to finish faster.
But today was incredibly sunny, and I used it to finish the fiberglass coating of the Side-fins. Now they are almost finally ready, with a bunch of improvements which I’ll show you in the next episode of ‘Built of Scratch’.
Until then, stay warm, drink tea with rum and be patient. Santa is on his way πŸ˜πŸ¦ŒπŸŒŸβ˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈ

Light Board

Hi guys, here you can find the instructions how to make your own Light Board. Feel free to comment and ask questions so we can improve this post, to be fully understandable for everyone.

– Glass, 800mm x 1600mm x 10mm
– Wood: 2x 60mm x 60mm x 950mm
– Wood: 2x 35mm x 35mm x 950mm
– Wood: 2x 20mm x 100mm x 950mm
– Wood: 2x 10mm x 10mm x 140mm
– Screws, metal angular connections, as much as you need;
– double-sided adhesive tape;


The process starts with a cup of black tea with black spiced rum. When you start feeling comfortable with numbers and measurements, you can cut your wood on the required pieces and assemble the main parts with screws.
TIP: it is always better to drill holes for the screws in the wood to avoid cracking.
The small limiter in the bottom (the wood 10 x 10 x 140mm) you can glue instead of screwing, to keep it in place.
Next is the LED strip. First you should connect the wires. The strip easily stick on the wooden frame with a double-sided adhesive tape (usually integrated into the LED strip by default). You may try stick the LED strip on the glass corner if you want, but the difference in the lighting is too small for the effort you give for mounting the LED on the glass.
After the both frames are ready, you can install them on the table Be aware of the measurement between both sides. The glass is too heavy and when you lift it, you have to be prepared to mount it faster with no mistakes.
Install the glass carefully
TIP: Use a thick double-sided adhesive tape to stick the glass on the back side of the frame. In this way the glass will hold-on if you need to open the frond wood and work on, or change, the LED strips.
After you close the front wooden parts, and screw everything tight, you are ready to connect the wires and the electronic circuit to power the LED strips.

Because our Lab is powered by 24V battery system, we decide to connect the Lightboard directly to the battery pack and use 24 Volt stabilizer. The stabilizer shown above keeps the voltage stable 24V, while the battery voltage is moving between 24 and 28 Volts when is charged.
If you have a 12 volt system, you can search for circuit diagram of 12 volt stabilizer (usually called ‘7812’). And if you use 220 V, we recommend to use the original power supply for LED strips.
IMPORTANT: If you decide to use our circuit on 24V, you should connect the 2 LED strips in series. Be aware to connect the ‘+’ of the first with the ‘-‘ of the other, and to power the setup from the other ‘+’ and ‘-‘. If you make a mistake, you will kill the LED strips forever.

That’s it, guys! We hope you understand everything. But if you have questions or need more pictures, feel free to write your comment below, or write us an email on CHEERS!

Captain’s Log – Day 840

Its the first time we try the concept to cover the PLA 3D printed parts with fiberglass and epoxy.
Cross fingers because if we succeed, all parts will be not only strengthen, but also well protected from the sea water.
Rum for everyone! πŸŒŠπŸΊπŸ¬πŸ¦‘

Captain’s Log – Day 839

One of the reasons this project exists is to inspire you and others to advance the technologies for exploring and preserving the sea. We were amazed to learn that our work motivates even children to do engineering.

Today the Lab of The Rare Blue was visited by The Children’s house with 8 really young boys and girls and their parents, to see the engineering process here. The Children’s house in Varna actually works to inspire children to create, following their interests and talents, and now they are exploring opportunities to build a machine. Amazing!
I promised to help them as an engineer in the process of creation, so more news soon.

No Rum this time. Ok, maybe for the children’s parents only.

Captain’s Log – Day 826

I think it’s a record for a long time without an update. Some things have been changed, but in the same direction: supporting nature conservation.

Neptune already has a new design, mostly inspired by nature. Its purpose has also been updated following the latest trends in AI technology. Now it will be more efficient, it will work with a really small amount of energy, easier to operate underwater and above and many more.
Currently I finish the “fish-like” side fins which are the most complex mechanical part of the robot. In the next episode of “Built of Scratch” coming very soon, you will learn and see more about it.
The project is now completely “Open-Source”, so all the drawings and instructions will be freely shared soon.
“Rum for everyone!”

Captain’s Log – Day 756

Back in Varna after 3 months spent along the endless beaches of northwestern France. The new equipment are now in the Lab and the setup is almost complete. Today I may able to make the first 3D printed part, using only a solar energy. Cross fingers!

“Rum to the bottom and let Poseidon be with us!”