OpenROV v2.5: A Closer Look


As we mentioned last week on the blog, the new OpenROV v2.5 is here! We were driving them all weekend at World Maker Faire in NYC and received a lot of, "Wow, I didn't realize how far the OpenROV project had come."

It's true. Thanks to all the feedback and development work of the community, this new version quite the tool. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Polypropylene shell

    • Much more durable

    • Tighter dimensional tolerance

    • Lower density → added buoyancy

    • Semi-translucent → verify vent plugs are in place without removing main tube

    • Lighter color → more visible in water

  • Graupner propellers

    • Nearly 200% the efficiency of previous props

      • 2x longer battery life

      • Faster speed in water

      • Less heating from ESCs

  • New battery tube design

    • PETG tube material

      • Clear → allows inspection of inside of tube for leaks, battery set used, etc

      • Tighter dimensional tolerance → allows for o-ring based endcap design

    • O-ring based endcap design

      • Capable of withstanding greater depth without leaking

      • Does not add to tube diameter

    • Potting-sealed rear endcap design

      • Much less prone to allowing leakage around wire pass-throughs

      • Allows spring terminal for battery to sit firmly orthogonal to tube

  • Changes to internal structure for mounting shell

    • Double tabs for mounting to shell

      • Makes shell less likely to pop off of internal structure

      • Distributes strain → increases durability

    • Clear acrylic → easier to inspect mounted components

  • New endcap design

    • Stronger flange allows greater depth

    • New method for mounting venting syringe takes up less space allowing for larger E-Chassis

  • New E-Chssis structure

    • Independently rotating camera and light platform

    • Wider size

      • More room for additional components

      • Enough room for webcam USB cable to plug directly into BeagleBone

    • Large empty volume available for additional devises

  • OpenROV Controller Board replaces Cape

    • Headers for BeagleBone and Homeplug adapter greatly reduce wiring

    • On-board holes for ESCs greatly reduce wiring

    • Atmega 2560 running Arduino has much more DIO, A/D, PWM and processing power

    • Four “Power PWM” channels with switchable supply voltage built in

    • Six servo output channels with male headers

    • Current sensing for each battery, controller board, and each ESC

    • Voltage and temperature sensing onboard

    • Option for adding humidity sensor

    • UART and SPI connections between BeagleBone and ATmega
    • DB-25 connector for wiring harness instead of molex connector

      • Requires less tools to assemble

      • Less likely for connection failure

      • More channels in a smaller space

      • Easier to modify

      • Easier to probe

  • BeagleBone Black

    • Much more processing power the original BeagleBone

    • Lower cost

    • Looks cooler!

Overall features:

  • Can be built in a weekend

  • Cleaner build makes modification and debugging easier

  • Added buoyancy allows more payloads to be mounted to ROV

We've started shipping the new OpenROV v2.5. We're working through pre-orders first and new orders will ship within 1-2 weeks. Many of these new features can be integrated into v2.4 and earlier versions. We'll have another post this week on specific upgrades, as well as each of the different components in the OpenROV store.


When will you be selling the OpenROV Controller Board? Looking forward to taking your control systems and implementing them into our high school classes.


Everything about the v2.5 is so cool!


Aaah - this is soooo cool that I'd like to replace my 2.3 ROV with the new 2.5 Version if I could afford it ;).

But I'm interested in buying the new controller board - is it also compatible with the "old" Beaglebone or will I need the new BBB for it? Will you offer it as a single item in the shop soon?



Hi David,

Yes Eric told me it will work. I ask him same question because i ordered a BBW few weeks before launching Version 2.5 :)


Yes! We'll definitely have it in the store. It may take a week or two. We want to fill all the kit orders first. You'll love the new board.


"New endcap design

  • Stronger flange allows greater depth"

What makes the flange stronger? is it thicker? Or is it a different shape?

pinned #8