My vectored thrust mini ROV build

I’ve designed and begun building a mini ROV using Blue Robotics components. You can follow my progress here:

That’s nice, Paul. I just checked out your website as well. Very interesting. I would love to learn more about the SfM techniques you use. I am just getting into it and know very little.

@Jim N - I’ll have to dig up my notes, but I tried every app I could get my hands on and countless methods before I came up with something that worked for my particular project. As memory serves, I ended up using VisualSFM, MeshLab and some PhotoShop tools. If I get a chance I’ll post more information in a separate blog post.

Incidentally, part of my motivation for building this new ROV was a desire to do more SfM. The ROV I was using for that project lacked the maneuverability that SfM demands, which made it that much more difficult to accomplish the quality we were looking for. With vectored thrust and an open frame I’m expecting much better performance from this ROV.

Paul, nice rig :slight_smile: I was checking out your website also … another nice rig! Have you ever approached the Government about some of your stuff or are you sticking to commercial world such as Oil/Gas exploration?

We got a guy who owns a Karaoke bar here locally that is an ROV driver for some Oil/Gas style company.

The reason I asked about the Government is I know the guys up at Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI have been playing with various ROV / AUROV items. You never know, it might be another sector to get some cash flow in. … just checked your client list. I see you got NUWC listed :slight_smile:



There’s also the NRL, Naval Research lab in D.C. The have quite the center, and a neat littoral research lab. If you catch one of there recent Spectrum magazines, they discuss tech for biologically inspired AUVs and actuators for highly maneuverable holonomic auvs. Really neat stuff.

NASA Langley Research Center, though manly an aero shop, is interested in marine robotics as well. Their Autonomy Incubator, though mainly focused on AAVs, are starting to explore marine systems for enabling science missions.

All kinds of neat stuff popping up all over in the recent decade.



Thank you Harold and Jim. As you may already know, I’m ex-Navy and when I started this company I expected most of our business would come from the US military. But as it has turned out, although we have done some business with the US Navy, the vast majority of our business has come from schools (of all levels) outside of the US and not necessarily focused on the oil and gas industry.

Paul I can understand the Government issues. As a Defense Contractor and former Navy guy myself it can be a grim World full of morons who shouldn’t be in the positions that they are … but that is another saga to itself.

I am trying to get our shop to venture into the commercial sector and at one time I was trying to get the company to entertain us providing classes for J-STD-001 soldering and Fiber Optic work. We do that type of training for our own people and the Government, why not open it up to schools. We have lots of colleges etc. in our area.

The other thing I would like to do is to offer hydrostatic pressure testing services to companies / people. We just installed a new tank with a 36" ID with a volume of about 260 gallons that can pressure test up to 2100 psi. That is a few feet shy of 4,700 feet under the ocean. I have even a bigger tank that I only take to 1000 psi and that one has a 48" diameter to it and is about six foot in depth. We have a sales agreement with a University that has a tank that is five foot in diameter, 15 feet deep and can go to 16,000 psi if I need something of that magnitude for a customer.

You can check out our site at A lot of the stuff that we do for military would could port to commercial, just have to get the company thinking in that manner.



It looks great! I’m starting off with the standard config but debating on board power vs surface. I want depth so autonomous or thin teather seem to be my choices. Both have issues, so it my become dual mode.

Are you carrying the batteries in the lower enclosure? Are you using the BlueESCs?

Are you attempting real time SFM?

Looking forward to your progress updates.



Thanks for your interest, unfortunately progress on the build has slowed a bit because I’m in the process of re-locating to the East coast. To answer your questions:

Yes, I will be using on-board batteries that will be housed in the lower housing.

No, I’m using the AFRO ESC’s that will be housed in the upper housing (BlueESC’s weren’t in stock when I ordered my parts).

Real-time SfM isn’t on my immediate to-do list, but I will be watching other people’s progress in this area…