More Exploring


As a few of you know, we recently raised a seed round of funding from True Ventures. Liz Gannes covered it today in AllThingsD.

This project and community has grown into something we're extremely proud to be part of. When we started, Eric and I talked a lot about trying to maximize "Return on Adventure". That's still the goal. And it's the entire community that makes it possible. Colin's trip to Tulum is a perfect example. We want to make sure that being part of this community translates into more excitement and adventure.

True is a great partner. Jon Callaghan and the team understand the new hardware landscape, and understand the value of a strong open-source community. Raising money means we're going to be able to invest more in the technology as well as the community. For instance, we're building a new platform - Open Explorer - to make it easier to share your expeditions in real and near-real time. More tools to empower all of us to go further.

We'll have a lot more to share in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out the new v2.5 OpenROV (pictured below) and, as always, send us an email with any questions.


Totally awesome!!! We have been waiting for this day!! I teach a Science Research Honors course and my engineering team are in the midst of designing an ROV. A different chassis and thruster design but they are wanting to use your control mechanisms. Please tell me that we can buy the OpenROV controller with ATMEGA2560 (Arduino Mega) on-board. Is this similar to the previous cape (does it attach to the BBB) or does it connect separately.



The BBB plugs right in. You'll certainly be able to buy the board separately. We'll have another post and update on that in the next few days.


The new look of the ROV is incredible. I am sure the hardware and software are too.


Sam - glad you like it! Can't wait to get this out to you!


Very cool look indeed! Blue was nice... now it looks like the robots from iRobot!

How about we call it now iOpenROV?


What a pleasant surprise to see OpenROV on the frontpage of AllThingsD! Totally unexpected.

Glad to hear you've raised some money! That's awesome, and makes me feel like OpenROV is worth investing my time and effort into. Look forward to the next batch of updates, and don't forget about 2.4 users!


Thanks Ren! Of course. We're all still 2.4 users ourselves! ;)

We'll have all the upgrade details on the wiki soon. Much of 2.4 is upgradable.


Congrats - this is indeed very cool! If there was a design prize for ROVs, you would win it!


That looks sharp as hell. Would there be any advantages or disadvantages to making the outer shell out of aluminum?


Tyson: if you have the facility to cut the aluminium, the biggest problem would be the buoyancy. Acrylic is almost neutrality buoyant. But this can be compensated as another builder already demonstrated. He uses some kind of sheet metal.
The other problem you could run into is corrosion. Especially if you drive the ROV in salt water.
Happy hacking! :slight_smile:


This is really fantastic. I swear I won't miss anymore developer meetings!

I'm not sure of the format, business plan ,etc you guys are planning on with OpenExplorer, but I have a suggestion which I'd love to help out with if you need someone to push it forward. Local /semi-local expeditions. Myself and a few other ROV enthusiasts out here in the valley would love to see local expeditions, adventures planned/organized via a local group tied to Explorer. These expeditions would be the true citizen stewardship, coupled with scientific adventure, that I've been dreaming of for years. I don't think I'm alone on that front either. I foresee local and semi-local (whatever that means) weekend or even week long expeditions with a number of set goals, but open investigation, bringing the data back into an open data archive, allowing professional and "after hours" scientists to share., study, publish, and learn more about our ocean and inland water environments. A little bit of framework on the front and back ends for technique and technologies, and the rest would just be a bunch of explorers from all walks really learning about the world instead of learning about it from 20millions dollar NatGeo expeditions that even the most qualified scientists rarely get to go on.

Just a thought.



We're on the same page! That's the future we want to be a part of. Would love to get you involved with the development of the platform. Send me an email -