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How to build a ROV

UUR has developed their own ROV kit that students build in their after school programs. We recently switched to using a bilge pump motor, but suggest if you are building a ROV at home to use this supply list. This kit costs about $30 and uses common parts from a hobby and hardware store. We recommend using the SeaPerch.org ROV manual when building your ROV. There are other great online resources for building an ROV such as: SpaceShipOne's example, or this one called HomeBuiltROVs.

1. Supplies

Here is a parts list. Some parts can only be ordered and others are available at hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. Our ROV uses 1/2 inch PVC. 

2. Frame Assembly

Once you have your supplies it is time to build your ROV frame. This video shows how to cut and assemble your frame. 

3. CONTROL BOX SETUP and DRILLING

This video shows how to drill the holes for your control box. 

4. Electrical Components

This video goes over the basic soldering techniques and process. 

4. Motors

The video below goes through how to wire and waterproof small motors using film capsules. 

5. Wiring the fuse

You'll need a fuse to control voltage flow. Below is a video that shows you how to wire a fuse for your ROV.

6. Bon Voyage

Time for your ROV's maiden voyage. Put it in the water and test its buoyancy. You want it to be neutrally buoyant, so your ROV isn't sinking or floating. Have fun!

Other Resources

  • SeaPerch and MATE offer ROV kits that you can purchase and build.

  • A great build manual to use as a reference is by SeaPerch.org.