Tablet Control BlueROV2?

Can anyone speak to the tablet controller used in the BR video?

Is this something in the works or something there are plans for? Is it fully wireless or still tethered to the based Fathom-X?

Or how are others using the BlueROV2 with a tablet based setup? Curious for a more portable base station setup.

The tablet controller in the video was a prototype made by OceanLab. You can probably reach out to them, but I know there was some 3D printing involved.

I’m using a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with a Mobile Demand Case for mine. It works really well and I didn’t have to go out and buy a fully rugged tablet/laptop. I just plug in a Belkin USB/Ethernet adapter and I’m ready to go. Besides the ROV, I can fit all my accessories comfortably in a small backpack.

Thanks. Do you have a contact/link for OceanLab?

Has anyone done a fully wireless setup yet?

I got a pretty close look at the system that Tony at Oceanlab was using. It was basically a tablet with an iPega expandable gamepad ( ) and a wifi connection installed in a custom made case. Oceanlab used it to control their “SWARM” autonomous bots. It was pretty cool actually.

Hi Kevin,
What model Surface Pro 4 are you using? I think there are 4/8/16 GB RAM versions. And are you running the Advanced Electronics package?

Hi Marcus,
I got the 16GB RAM with 256GB Storage version. And yes, I’m running the Advanced Electronics Package. Working great!

Thanks Kevin, I was afraid you’d say that!!! The 16GB version (in Australia at least) is about three times the price of the 4GB version. Do you find the screen bright enough?

I understand, the 16GB is a bit on the expensive side, but I have other programs that required the higher memory. You’d probably be fine with the 4 or 8GB.

I consider the screen brightness to be “acceptable” under most circumstances. If you think you’re going to be operating in direct sunlight, you might want to consider a tablet really made to work outdoors (i.e. not a consumer tablet).

ok thanks for your input Kevin. I will give the 4 or 8GB a try and report back. I think what I will end up doing is running the tablet to a separate high brightness monitor via the display port.

Great, good luck! I’m starting to do the same when I set up for boat operations and run a separate monitor off the display port as well. Hopefully one day, QGC will have an option to pop out the video so I can slide it over to the other monitor.

Hi Kevin,

Have set up the 8GB Surface Pro 4. So far, things are ok. Do you have a screen recording of your QGC that you wouldn’t mind linking to? My QGC is quite laggy, with multiple frames dropping. This is a little disappointing given my 5 yr old PC with limited RAM and CPU streams better. I’m not sure if it is due to the lower resolution on the old laptop (720p vs 1080 on the surface pro), or the fact that the Surface Pro doesn’t have an RJ45 port, and maybe the USB adapter I’m using is substandard. The only other program I have running is Icecream screen recorder.


Here are links to QGroundControl with screen recording, you will need to set a place to save the videos in the General tab of the Application Settings page. Then, click the red icon in the lower left of the video window to start/stop recording. Let us know if it helps with the latency, a standalone screen recording software like Icecream can be pretty resource-intensive.


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Hi Marcus,

I haven’t heard of Icecream before, but I concur with Jacob, that is most likely the reason for your lag. Before we had the native video recording in QGC, we had tried recording with VLC and that definitely killed our latency.

For my work and best lag reduction, I have a GoPro Hero 5 mounted to the front. The video recorder that Jacob set up in QGC is fantastic though and runs very smooth. Try the QGC one and see where that gets you.

@jwalser Do you have any metrics on the latency with the QGC recorder on/off?

ok thanks guys. Didn’t think it would be that intensive, but just fired it up and is using at least 10% CPU according to task manager. I’ll try the QGC recorder and see how I go. Like you Kevin, I mount a GoPro to the front, however it is nice to have a record of depth etc overlayed on the dive video.