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Thinking about buying a BROV2.. should I?

Hi all. New here and trying to take in as much as I can before pulling the trigger on an ROV. There is SO much to take in though so reaching out to those for some advice/recommendations. First off the BROV2 looks amazing as to being able to tinker and expand in any way shape and form. This hardware platform would go a million miles to learn and grow with and be a great educator to the family. I am a bit concerned with the pilot side of the software and UI. I want this to be used at times by non tech people (aka wife and young kids). I want my kids to grow and learn to use over time. This is my biggest stumbling block on the BROV2 vs say Chasings m2 or the Fifish v6s. The later 2 have simple UI and the fifish has VR head tracking for control which I see nothing on here. From a usability standpoint they seem easier to control. I have seen little documented on the controls of the BROV2 so looking to see what you all here think? Am I better off with saving the BROV2 until my kids are old enough to dig into the hardware and have already got their feet wet with piloting something easier (like the above) or is the UI and control easy enough to be used with some experience?? I know that is a per child thing as well but trying to understand the difference between a quasi toy (the others) and hobby level (BRov2) device as to functionality for family.
I am a scuba diver and on top of the educational aspect and learning, I also want the family to be able to experience and interact with some of my diving. That is why control of a device is so much of a focus now knowing education and growth can continue later if not turned off early by complexity.
Thanks for any and all feedback!! :slight_smile:

Hi @saridnour welcome, we’re glad you found us! I think you’re doing the right thing by looking at all your options and doing as much research you can before you purchase. I won’t attempt to steer you in any one direction, but I’d be happy to answer your questions.

We are aware of the “underwater drones” and keep tabs on them from time to time. Our CEO wrote an article a few months ago to understand a little about what they are and how we are different: The Rise of the Term “Underwater Drone”.

My 30-second elevator speech that I give to interested customers is that the BlueROV2 is “open and flexible”. The software is all open-source and available in our software repositories. The hardware openess comes from having all of our 3D models available for customers to import into CAD and tinker with. The flexibility aspect comes from the ease at which accessories (Blue Robotics or 3rd part) can be installed on the vehicle. Take a glance through the forums or our social media when you get a chance to see all the modifications everyone has done. The Buyer’s Guide goes through what we have.

If you haven’t come across it yet, here are the setup guides for the BlueROV2:
Assembly Guide
Software Setup
Operation Guide

The user interface is further documented here: ArduSub: QGroundControl Features and Configuration

Yes, it appears a bit complicated, but that’s just because there are a lot of accessories, modifications, and parameters that can be adjusted. The default values work just fine! You are welcome to download the UI and try it out, there’s no license or registration or anything like that. There’s a major release about once a year.

One nice thing about the BlueROV2 is that it can be updated and upgraded over time. You aren’t stuck with the model you purchased initially and new and upgraded components are easy to swap in. I have had my personal BlueROV2 since 2016 and it has seen numerous updates and upgrades. I have regularly taken it out to explore shipwrecks off Southern California: Endurance ME locates fishing vessel NEW SATURNIA

Let us know if you have further questions and we’d be happy to give our input!

The BlueROV2, especially the heavy version, is probably the closest you can come to owning a real underwater ROV. For a guy who wants to buy one, rather than build one.

The FiFish or the Chasings are just toys. Saying that to someone who just bought one (on credit) for $2k+ will get a butthurt response, but it’s true. The units are only rated for 300-400 ft deep, and are so small and lightweight you will constantly fight the tether kink and drag to be able to look where you want, to say nothing of being able to grab something if you buy the optional (probably $500) gripper.

The BlueROV2 Heavy is bulky enough, and has enough mass, that it resists being yanked around by the tether. It only supports camera tilt, their opinion is if you want to look left pan the ROV.

Since i am relatively poor and still living in the 80’s (sticker shock at today’s prices), I opted to build my own ROV. Currently working on my second. Going for a small work-class ROV about the size of a large chest freezer…more mass/ weight = more stability. I’m using QGroundControl and the Raspberry Pi/ Pixhawk for ROV navigation/ autopilot, but using my own separate link for LED’s, servos, cameras, manipulators. The BlueROV2 only supports a gripper. I want/ need more articulation. I’m building 2 9-dof manipulators for my ROV. 18 sample containers, vacuum dredge, active buoyancy/ ballast control.

But for someone with a credit card, with limited knowledge of mechanical engineering, RC, servo interfaces, force feedback systems, DIY welding in a home workshop, sourcing odd parts from the internet, the BlueROV2 Heavy is probably your best bet.

And buy a used pontoon boat for a launching platform. With a wide canopy so you can use a 50" TV with sunshade for control. Rather than be tied to a dock peering at a dim screen in the sunlight getting sunburnt and having Karens tell you “You can’t do that here”.

Hi Andy,

In relation to ease of control, the BlueRov is controlled by a standard gaming control pad either XBox or Playstation.

If the kids are able to play video games then they will handle a BlueRov easily.

I have used both of the above and found the controls comfortable to use, however I now use a Logitech 3D pro to control an rov.

Also, the joystick is programmable in QGroundControl to the users liking. So you can assign any button to any function.

Kind regards


https://www.facebook.com/ArcticSubseaRobotics/videos/354769561847429/… Age doesnt matter as you see:) Kids tske the 2D faster than us, meet Konrad 4 yrs :skull_and_crossbones: