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Seeking for a low cost build items list

I am quite new to the ArduSub project and would like to build a first basic ROV based on a RPi 3 + PXFmini board.
I read all documentation and I have been amazed by the simplicity and similarities (from a user standpoint) between ardusub and arducopter

I would like to build my own ROV but it seems the only option available is to order BlueROV2 which costs more than 1000 USD.
As this is for me a very first introduction to the sub world, I would rather be interested in building something basic based on “simpleRov” frame type (i.e. cost basically limited in buying a tether cable + 4 thrusters + I2C depth sensor + frame as I already own all the electronics from my current copter)

Thanks for any possible advices to get me started!

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I think too that the supot for PXFmini could be interesting but not to do a low cost toy. In my opinion it is for replace the pixhawk because pixhawk is not easy to buy and with PXFminiall will be more compact.

Hi Guillaume,

Thanks for this post! Reaching the sub-$1000 price is very difficult for an ROV! There are a few components that just aren’t as cheap as those available for aerial drones. Most notably are the thrusters and tether.

For the thrusters, ours will work great, but you could also try to use off-the-shelf brushless motors. They won’t have the same corrosion resistance or power, but they will work underwater and can be quite a bit cheaper.

Similarly, you can start with a cheaper tether cable such as an inexpensive Cat5 ethernet cable instead of a neutrally buoyant tether.

Since you already have the basic electronics, that will keep things at a very reasonable price.

I would definitely recommend using a good watertight enclosure to make sure you protect your electronics from any water damage. Skimping there could cost a lot in the future.

I hope this helps a bit!


Hi Guillaume, we are launching an IndieGoGo campaign soon for a small ROV, and the Super Early Bird options will start from 699€ plus shipping and any taxes and so on. This should get you started, and several components can later be used to upgrade to a BlueROV2. Our campaign isn’t 100% ready yet, but you can sign up to our pre-launch email list at