OpenROV Trident Kickstarter Launched


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Hey everyone!

We are proud that we just launched the KickStarter for Trident. Thanks to all of you, it blew through the target in just 3 minutes. Since so many supporters were not able to get in to the initial early bird special we have released another batch of discounts for those that missed the initial rush.

We need your help. Please share the kickstarter with everyone you know. The more backers we have the more resources we have to make this a truly remarkable vehicle.


Hey Brian, this is super exciting news seeing this new Trident ROV. One question I have for the Product is: does it have air inside its main compartment or is it filled with some kind of oil or anything? It looks so steady in the water! Also as the Trident comes preassembled - is it still possible to open it up easily? Greetings from Germany


Happy your excited!

The Trident is a reinforced air compartment system. And yes, it’s hella steady.

As a trade-off to get high reliability and low maintenance the Trident is intended to stay sealed. It will be extendable through the software via plugins and hardware via a system we are working on for payload modules.


Thanks for the quick answer Brian! Another thing that popped into my mind is whether the trident will be completely open source hardware as the OpenROV is.


Parts. The Make magazine has the full response regarding open source. Check it out:


Battery life is 3 hours so are they removable to recharge or swap them with charged batteries,3 hours battery life is some time to short so been able to remove them and replace them would be important to me.If they have to be recharged in the unit how long would this take?


Yes the batteries have to be charged in place. We are aiming to keep the charge time less than the run time (between 2 and 3 hours) so that people who want to run continuous operations can simply bring 2 Trident ROVs to the the site and run one while the other is charging.

unpinned #11

pinned globally #12


I laughed at the reference to the S.S. San Rafael Expedition. We still need to find out what that mysterious uncharted object in the middle of the bay is! :smile:

A few notes and comments:

  1. This has come a very long way since I saw the prototypes at HQ in January and Tahoe in May. I admit I was a skeptic at the time because I still felt there was a need for low speed maneuvering. I think the team has done an excellent job with the revisions and the addition of a vertical thruster and I couldn’t agree more with the changes. I’m excited to get my hands on one next year and explore some shipwrecks!

  2. Salt water is tough and unforgiving and generally people don’t like to do maintenance. I’m not sure on the specifics yet, but anything exposed to saltwater with the possibility of corrosion, will need to be replaced at one time or another. The Trident design looks very rugged and it looks like the only moving parts are the thrusters themselves. I just recommend that it’s easy to replace such components as required.

  3. Thank you for continuing with the 2.X series. I still have more R&D I would like to do with that platform. I know some don’t share my sentiment, but I still like building my own platforms, that way when something breaks, I know how it is built so I can fix it without having to send it off back to the manufacturer. With that being said, I still welcome Trident as something quick I can throw in the water and take a look around and run transect lines if need be.


Thanks for the extra release of discounted Tridents. It’s comforting to know that when I logged into Kickstarter 30 minutes after the launch I was already 27 minutes too late!


Is it to late to make requests to the spec?
Can the batteries be made easily accessible so as they could be swapped out in minutes?
Could batteries be doubled or even tripled in numbers to give 6 or 9 hours operation?


Yeah, talk about missing the boat, lol. Next time. Can’t wait to see it available next year.


Or if we are able to have power over Ethernet on the tether ?? Maybe :grinning::grinning:

Also, I don’t think I’ve herd any mention of RTH yet? Return To Home is on many Air Drones and may be useful for our Tridents?
Also a tether disconnect for tangled tethers then fly back on Auto with RTH?

Also another thought about flying around with amazing HD vision? If it ends up like Flying quads, clear vision (no drop outs) is more important that HD amazing clarity! We all run Two cameras, one to fly & the other for amazing visuals, clarity & recorded memories ( Hero 4). Makes me think of Dual switching cameras. One low Res for uninterrupted vision at high speeds & another HD for recording and stationary slow inspections.
The mind Boggles :grinning::grinning: Can’t wait :+1::+1:


Hi Brian,

Great news indeed. I am new into ROVs and into Kickstarter, so please bear with my perhaps idiot questions.

I applied for the second kickstarter Trident opportunity and have been publicitizing your product.
In our research group we are very excited with this new “toy” that we intend to use mainly at the exploration and mapping of innundated caves in the Yucatan Peninsula, México (cenotes). Therefore I have a couple of questions in advance:

  1. is it possible to tweak the system to add infra-red capable video cameras? There is zero light in this caves, but there is life we want to reccord. We need I.R. cameras to reach that goal

  2. is there any way to add extra batteries and I.R. lighiting to the system? I.R. fades quickly in water and we need powerfull lighitng system to “illuminate” the surroundings

  3. 100m cable can, in many caves, be just the entrance. I understand that there is a trade-off between thrust and the weight of the cable the rov has to pull. Any chance on having a longer cable? Can you design the cable to have near neutral buoyancy in fresh and/or salt-water? A silly solution or perhaps a way to reduce drag?

  4. are you thinking on adding other peripherals like articulated arms, nets, or it has been designed only for video?

  5. Perhas more importantly, if we apply and get mexican funds, how could we help the develpment of the perhaps too specific requests I wrote before and their implementation into the TRIDENT?

Looking forward to your reply, all the best



Are you after infrared or ultra-violet? It was my understanding the IR faded too quickly in water to be of any use, but the again, I have not tried! Regardless, we are hoping to have a design for payloads to fit to the outside of the ROV that will provide extensibility. This is Eric’s response regarding payloads:

Yea, longer tether’s are possible. The tether is neutral in fresh water and slightly positive in salt water. As far as drag goes, I suspect the Trident will be plenty powerful enough to pull a lot of neutral tether through the water.

The ability to mount a downward facing external camera is the high priority, but per the payload thread, we hope to offer a platform that other payloads can be developed against.

I’m pretty sure we are going to be heads down making sure the Trident is a success in its own right for now. I recommend keeping any eye out and participating in discussions regarding the payload interfaces. Others have had good success partnering with other members of our community to bring development projects from idea to working prototypes. We are happy to help make introductions and encourage those discussions in our forums.


I think it a great project. I am waiting shipping of my Trident next year I think.
Only I would suggest keep tilt camera, because it is a great tool to explorer seabed during cruise.
Also, have you think to add side thruster to move Trident on side ?
It is a great idea for precision moving in little space.

Thank you for all


Saverio, IT


Very Impressive , so wicked , amazing tool !


Hi Brian,
What kind of thrusters are you using in the trident ? And how much is the thrust per thruster?
Thank you