It’s a project that would make MacGyver proud: a do-it-yourself underwater exploration vehicle.
OpenROV stands for Open Remotely Operated Vehicle, and it is an open-source, underwater robot. Founded by Eric Stackpole, David Lang, and Matteo Borri, OpenROV was originally designed to explore an underwater cave. Following a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the project is now a large community of exploration enthusiasts, makers, DIY experts, and tinkerers who are using the bitty submarine to explore waterways around the world.
The OpenROV can dive to a depth of 75 meters (246 feet), and has a run time of about two hours. Currently at version 2.7, you can drive it using a simple gamepad. The brains of the submarine are located in a Beaglebone onboard computer.
You can buy a kit to build your own robot submarine for around $800 USD. If you’re all thumbs in the some-assembly-required department, no problem: you can also buy a fully assembled version for roughly $1500.
Once you start exploring, you can join a community of OpenROV enthusiasts from 50 countries around the world to talk about your discoveries, your hacks, and your upgrades. Have fun!