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Streamlined ROV design

Hi all

I have attached pics of a design I have completed. Unfortunately, the cost of machining such a complex design out of solid alloy as a one-off unit means I am unlikely to get it made. Anyway it was fun to design and nice to imagine how it might fly.

I wanted hatches that size so I could easily access the electronics and thruster wiring. I have designed the battery compartment as its own sealed unit so a battery can be changed without exposing the electronics to the air.

It has a payload of around 3 kg.


Hi @johng, nice design!

You could potentially 3D print a mold and cast it. No idea if it would be easier to get made, but it would at least use significantly less material.

Interesting idea. Does that just take the place of one of the hatches, or does it cover the whole bottom or something?

You’ve got some intriguing penetrator placements that nicely distribute cable entry-points but seem like they could be difficult to access without a very hollow inside, which I imagine would be challenging to machine. If you’ve designed the internal hollow it’d be cool to see a cross-section view or similar to see how thick the walls are and how the penetrators would be accessed :slight_smile:

By the way, there was some funky stuff going on with some of your image links, so I fixed those up for you.

Hi Eliot

Thanks for your feedback. I have often thought about casting from a mold before but it appears I would not get nearly the same degree of finish and I have been unwilling to compromise that.
The battery is in its own tube and then it slides into a slightly larger dimension tube inside the hull accessed from the stern. That is done without opening the hatches.

I have attached a cut away shot (taken before I had finished the last parts)but you can see the inside is completely hollowed out, allowing easy access from the penetrator entry points to the electronics tray. Hull wall thickness is 3.75mm and 6 mm on all the corners with the hatches having reinforcing beams crossways and lengthways with supporting pillars from the bottom hatch to the top hatch. Of course that all added significantly to the cost of machining.

kind regards


I believe the idea with casting something like that is primarily a material and machining-time saver - you would generally still machine it down to get the desired surface finish, but that’s presumably significantly faster and easier than machining through a solid block to create all the hollows.

Instead of casting you could also potentially use Directed Energy Deposition if you can get access to a machine for it, but once again the idea there is to build up the material for the main shape and features and then machine down to the desired/required surface finish :slight_smile:

Cool to see - thanks for sharing!
In your section cut it seems like you’ve got o-ring seals or similar for the outside of the hatches, but seemingly not for the central cross. Is the idea to have some kind of cross-shaped plate inside (or over the top once it’s shut) to stop water ingress there, or is there some other plan? :slight_smile:

Hi Elliot

Thanks for the support with this design. Given that any step I take in seeing this one released in the wild would be expensive, I will probably put it on the back burner and concentrate on some of the other things that I think need to happen to make the total BR package the units of choice. I have been wanting to get an ipad pro set up instead of what I believe to be a major weakness and that is that as users, we are very commonly exposing an open laptop to salt air. Having bought a few of the ROVs the Chinese company, Chasing, are producing in the last year, I have been extremely impressed by their ease of use. Open their app on your ipad, plug the tether ends in and everything is ready to go. That ease of usage goes along way towards offsetting the fact that their machines are still toy grade, a status that I can see see they are working hard to change.

I have attached a pic showing the hatch properly joined and a cut away showing the curvature. That cross shape you saw in the other pics is an artefact left from taking screenshots before I had joined the four sections I design in before joining.

kind regards


No worries, always interesting to see new ideas, and help flesh them out a bit :slight_smile:

Fair enough - not every project needs to end with a physical functioning product, and no doubt the design process has been both challenging and rewarding already :slight_smile:

Ok then. We don’t currently directly support tablet/mobile control, but it is on the cards.

There’s also @tunadiver’s iPad app that you might be interested in, which is intended as a QGroundControl alternative :slight_smile:

Ahh I see, makes sense. That’s indeed a very large hatch then - I imagine the waterproofing would be quite a challenge, and making it simple to open/close could be as well :slight_smile: