G'day from Sydney

I thought I would share how my ROV build is going. Although I am an electrical engineer, I have been using the OpenROV electronics/software and building my own mechanical enclosure. (Once I have a base ROV up and running I would like to contribute to the electronics and firmware.)

The ROV is almost complete. I still need to attach the vertical thruster, pressure test the hull (aka drop the empty shell 50m or so into the ocean), purchase some reels of wire and drill a hole in the enclosure for the tether.

Anyway, here are a few photos of the build so far.. The enclosure is built from PVC pipe which I bought at the local hardware for around $10-15 AUD. (No toilet jokes please)

Front View: The camera goes behind the empty window.

Spilling its guts...The electronics slide right in, they are about half way in in this picture. Also the motors are enclosed in "pods" with an opening for the shaft which passes through a grease filled compartment. Although the motors are easily replaced, I will be primarily using the ROV in salt water and would like to stop any water getting in to prevent corrosion.

Electronics mount- Im still looking for a place to mount the ESCs so that they aren't in the way of anything.It is powered by a 5Ah LiPo battery which fits in a space below the beaglebone.

Camera Mount - the small bar there tilts the camera on a pivot

All sealed up - each opening is sealed with a plug with o-rings. The caps are added on top of that and sealed with silicone for a little bit of extra leak protection and the silicone is easy to remove so that the electronics are still accessible.

I have been having heaps of fun building it and welcome any comments or suggestions.




Awesome! I love homebuilt ROVs like this. have you done any stability testing? Your design may lead to easy roll-over and instability if you have the center of mass and center of buoyancy co-located. Also, what depth are you planing for?


Nice job Kurt! My V2.5 ROV kit arrived yesterday and I think I will build it according to spec. I'm keenly interested in how effective a seal you achieve using grease around the drive shafts. I will be almost exclusively saltwater too and I'm too much of a Scotsman to replace anything before I absolutely have to - sealed drive motors are the way to go!