Possible to control BlueROV2 with these? Windows 11 tablets with built-in game controller

I have always been envious of the nice integrated controller/display units that are sold by some of BlueRobotics’ competitors. It is a pain to set up a laptop (and an inverter to keep it charged) along with a game controller on the boat while we are offshore.

Just today I came across these small Windows “gaming” tablets. They run on batteries and have an X-Box style game controller built in. Is it possible to control a BlueROV2 with one of these?

They are running full desktop windows, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m curious about the controllers though. How particular is the BlueROV about the controller hardware?

Here’s a few examples I just searched up…


Hi @StrikeLines,

These should work, my largest concern would be video decoding power, but since they are advertised as “gaming” handhelds, I think they should do just fine.

As they are designed for gaming, the joystick should be detected as a proper joystick by windows, which is all that QGroundControl and Cockpit need.

A good wireless router, preferably on 5.8Ghz or Wi-Fi 6, will also help a lot.

Another option I like is using a good phone (I like samsung ones due to screen brightness) and a bluetooth joystick such as the Ipega 9023.

That hadn’t occurred to me about the phone. Does QGroundControl run reasonably well on Android? Does it have all the features that the Windows version has?

There are Android computers with a similar form factor. I imagine their interface would be a little bit easier to navigate than tiny Windows desktop…

@StrikeLines -
QGC on Android works for ArduRover, but I don’t think it’s particularly robust for ArduSub.

The SteamDeck is my preferred handheld for using the BlueROV2 in this paradigm - I like using Cockpit more than QGC as well!

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I have not seen the new Cockpit app yet. Thanks for the info. Question: Does Cockpit support showing Ping360 data within the main display area?

Managing Ping Viewer and QGroundControl on at the same time has been a pain point with our current setup…

Hi Travis -
Cockpit is quite powerful, and makes customizing the interface very easy! The best way to currently display ping360 data is to use the iframe widget to embed Cerulean SonarView extension, in this way you can use any Cerulean sonar embedded alongside your live-video stream and telemetry.

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Ok, I got one of these handhelds and am trying to get Cockpit running.

Question: If I connect to Cockpit from one computer and change the layout of one of the views, should that new layout persist if I connect to Cockpit from another computer?

You’re in luck Travis! We just released Beta 22, which includes automatic settings sync with BlueOS!

Just open Cockpit in the first device (while connected to the vehicle), customize your widgets profile and any other settings you want, and open Cockpit in the other device! Cockpit (in the second device) will ask you if you want to pull the settings from BlueOS. You can agree to all of them and it should be good to go!


Perfect timing, thanks! I appreciate how responsive y’all have been to my questions.

I really like what you guys are doing with BlueOS. So far it’s been much easier to work with than the old Mission Planner/Qgroundcontrol stack. Nice work.