So excited for this project. I just made my kickstarter contribution. I'm a deep sea ecologist interested in using an OpenROV to give students immersive (pun intended) experiences in underwater exploration, and am planning to use the robot in coastal North Carolina. Seeing as the tether is as thin and light weight as possible, I'm wondering if there's a secondary recovery protocol in case the tether is accidentally severed? ROV Nereus uses a simple "return to the surface" program in case it loses signal, but with the limited power supply, an active protocol might not work as well for this. Maybe something like a bladder and CO2 cartridge that discharge if communication is interrupted for more than a few minutes. That way you don't have to worry about losing it if it takes more than an hour to find, and the bladder would make it more visible if things get rough.
Excited to get my kit and start tinkering!