Additional Thruster option idea?


Hey Everyone

So I am new to the underwater ROV world and have come into a unique and fun challenge that I am hoping some people come up with a kind heart and help me out.

I have been challenged with a project for a company to complete some underwater inspection in rivers in northern Canada. The problem being that most rivers I am looking to float in flow at 4-5 knots, and the open rov design only goes at 2 knots. Based on a lot of googling and looking around there is nothing that is economical that can go over 2 knots. So I have purchased the open rov 2.7 kit with the open design and going to figure someway to give it some boost.

My ideas are as follows:

  • look at replacing the existing thrusters with bluerobitcs t200 thrusters. However with the delay and the price not sure if that would work.

  • second idea is motifying the existing the frame, buy adding a second battery tube on either side. I would mount extra thrusters to and power off the new battery bays. As I do not want the options to turn the the additional thrusters on remotely, could not I not power the new thrusters from the new battery tubes and share the ESC that the existing thrusters are plugged into?

Any help would be great. As I said I a new to this idea and love this open concept and sharing of ideas.


If the rivers are flowing at 4-5 kts, I would at least recommend at vehicle that can do 6-7 kts to have any sort of maneuverability. I’m unfamiliar with anything that can do that speed underwater that isn’t in the shape of a torpedo.

With that being said, you might want to take a look at my Work Class OpenROV thread. There’s a lot of good info in there that might help you. I’ve successfully used T-100’s, but I have a few T-200’s also on order that will be upgraded over time.


Just saying the obvious streamline as much as possable

Have a look at @Ben_McCandless unit to give you thoughts


Four to five knots of current would be a challenge for almost any ROV. Plus if you turn the ROV you will need that much lateral thrust to maintain station as well. Conditions well beyond most ROVs are capable of handling.

But that’s not to say all is lost. If you’re launching from a boat another option is to add a substantial clump weight on the tether and use the ROV more as a “maneuverable drop camera”. You will need a very strong tether and a smaller, more streamlined ROV shape will help. How much weight you will need will depend on a lot of factors so some experimenting will likely be required.

This technique should be in every ROV pilot’s tool bag of flying skills. If you’re a new pilot it’s well worth learning. A good source for this sort of info, and more, is Robert Christ’s “The ROV Manual”.