The BlueROV2 is rated to a depth of 100 meters (330 ft). That rating is limited by a number of factors, including the crush depth of the 4” acrylic watertight enclosure tube, with some safety factor.
Modular Frame Design and Expandability
Designed like a work class or research class ROV, the BlueROV2 has an open frame that carries the electronics and battery enclosures, thrusters, buoyancy foam, and ballast weights. This simple design is robust and expandable, making it easy to attach accessories such as an ROV gripper or scanning sonar. We have a payload skid available that extends the frame further and allows you to attach much larger payloads. We’ve seen people use this for scientific instruments, pressure washer attachments, additional battery enclosures, and more.
The BlueROV2 is designed to be expanded and modified and many of our users have made more dramatic modifications to suit their particular applications. Replacing the standard frame with a custom frame, you can create just about any underwater robot you can imagine!
Open Source Control Software and User Interface Software
The BlueROV2 is controlled by a drone flight controller running the open-source ArduSub subsea vehicle control firmware. As part of the ArduPilot project, it brings to the ROV a vast number of features, capabilities, and an extensive user community.
At the surface, the pilot controls the ROV through a laptop computer and gamepad controller. The open-source QGroundControl application acts as the user interface, providing the live video stream, sensor feedback and information, and the ability to change settings and configuration.
Getting Started with the BlueROV2
The BlueROV2 is designed for both entry-level and advanced ROV users. It comes with everything you need to get in the water except for a few components:
- Laptop – We recommend a medium to high-end model with Windows 10, Mac, or Linux operating systems. There are also some compatible tablets including the Windows Surface tablets. iOS and Android are not officially supported at this time.
- Gamepad Controller – We recommend the Xbox One controller or the Logitech F310 or F710 controllers.
- Battery – We recommend our 14.8v, 18Ah lithium-ion battery for the best battery life, but we can’t ship it to all locations! There are a number of other compatible batteries that can be used as well. We’d recommend getting a few for extended operation.
- Battery Charger – We have a recommended charger as well, but any lithium-ion battery charger that can handle your battery will work!
Available Options, Add-ons, and Accessories
First of all, there are a few configurable options that you’ll have to choose:
- The Fathom Tether length can be selected from 25 meters all the way up to 300 meters. The length you go depends on how deep and how far you want to go. For lengths over 100 meters, we’d recommend the Fathom Spool to make it easier to manage.
- The lights are available in 2-light and 4-light configurations. If you plan to do a lot of work in poor lighting conditions or at night, you might want the 4-light configuration.
Once you’ve got a solid grip on the basics, there are countless ways to expand your BlueROV2! We have a few core accessories: