Feedback / ideas for a more durable build?


I’m toying with building a ROV based on OpenROV electronics but with a number of “non-standard” features:

  • Use Blue Robotics thrusters
  • Lathed ABS end caps and thicker walled tubes
  • Coax tether instead of twisted pair
  • UHMW and aluminum frame

I may also experiment with some other “mods”:

  • Custom slip ring reel
  • Laser measuring device
  • Wireless wifi connection from slip ring reel to tablet computer
  • Wireless bluetooth joystick connection to tablet computer
  • On board sidescan sonar

I’m looking for feedback / inspiration from anyone who has tried (hopefully successfully) any of these on their build(s).


Hey Stretch! We’ve flown a modified OpenROV with PVC end caps and a thicker tube down to about 280m (which was awesome!) and I’ve had many ideas for modifications similar to a lot of the other things you’ve mentioned. I’d love to see what you come up with! It sounds like this ROV would be physically larger than a normal OpenROV. What are you thinking of using it for?



I wish there was a gallery or forum thread dedicated to “mods” people are making to their OpenROV’s. Pictures. We need pictures. :smiley:

Scott_W’s thread on “Structure From Motion” has me thinking about building a new ROV specifically for bottom surveys (plus it gives me an excuse to join the OpenROV fun). :smile:


I’m working on my larger vehicle as well based off the OpenROV electronics and changing about everything else from there.

A few notes:

  1. The BlueRobotics T-100 and M-100 thrusters work great! They interface perfectly with the current electronics and ESC’s without blowing out the polyfuses. I also have a set of T-200’s on order for my larger vehicle with the integrated BlueESC’s. I’ll give a report when I get them in and mounted.
  2. My slip ring reel build can be found here: Off-the-Shelf Tether Management System Since I first built it, I’ve added in a SeaCon Micro WetCon connector so my ROV’s have a quick detach.

What do you plan on doing about buoyancy? This seems to be the last remaining hurdle for larger custom ROVs.



Load your mod pictures up here:

Discuss your custom builds here:

Or team up and coordinate on a project that others can repeat here:


Hi Kevin_K,

I think we chatted last year before you deployed. Good to hear your project is progressing.

Your thread on the slip ring reel is the one I’m looking at mimicking. Except I hope to replace the twisted pair with a small diameter coax (with tinned leads).

Buoyancy shouldn’t be a big issue. Last ROV I built I used divinicel foam and a fiberglass skin. That worked fairly well, but mostly for shallow water work. For deeper depths I might either use PVC pipes or deep sea fishing net floats.


@badevguru - Thanks. So there is a gallery. Just needs more participation! :smile: