Use of Cubical Structures for ROV Design


Hi guys,

Im on a mission to build my first ROV and I’m looking around to get inspiration for my design. Everywhere I look I only see tube based designs. Is it impossible to integrate a cubical module in your ROV. I’d like to use this cubical module to hold all my electronics such as microcontroller, gyroscope, battery etc. Im planning to use a cube made out of PVC material.
I have attached a 3D model of what I plan to build (the yellow cube is what Im on about). Any feedback is welcome.

Thanks in advance


It’s not impossible to have a cube shaped pressure vessel. However tube based designs are a lot stronger under pressure, require less wall thickness and are less likely to collapse. They are also more hydrodynamic.

What to you want to achieve with your ROV design? If you’re planning to operate it in shallow areas with low current, a cube might be sufficient. If you want to operate your ROV in the ocean or perform some deeper dives a tube based design would perform a lot better.

Since you already have an open frame design it seems like a shame to add all that additional drag from a large cube on top of it.


Thanks Brendan for your feedback. I only intend to dive the ROV to depths of about 5m. Do you have any recommendations on a tube vessel that I can put there instead of the cube? I’m mainly concerned about the space because I plan to have many electronics in there.


A cube should be ok at 5m. There is software called “under pressure” that you can use to model your design and figure out what depth it’s failure points will occur, e.g. wall buckling, vessel collapse etc… Since you are operating at a very low depth a cube might be a better solution for a large electronics payload. You can also incorporate some internal bracing into your design to increase it’s strength if needed. What material do you plan to build your enclosure from? Or are you going to use a pre-built enclosure?