u n d e r w a t e r d r o n e s
Our kits enable everyone to create, experiment, and explore the ocean.
***Heads up! Due to the chip shortage, we've been out of stock. You can still place preorders now, with expected ship dates in June!
At Blue Dot ROV, we think the ocean has a brighter future when it's a part of everyone's lives. That's especially true when students, makers, and developers share a personal connection with the ocean. That inspires work that helps us protect and restore the seas.
But until now, it's been difficult, complicated, and expensive for any individual to explore underwater.
We are going to change that.
Underwater drones, or ROVs, have helped people explore underwater for decades. The problem is, most consumer ROVs are either closed, single-use systems, or kits that require a laptop to control. We think there should be a balance between versatility and ease of use.
That's why we designed the Model C.
Our Model C ROV is an open source ROV kit made with off-the-shelf electronics, and can be controlled from our free Android app (no laptop needed).
Plus, we made all our hardware available as 3D printable STL files. So you can print your own supply of replacement parts, or remix the files to suit your specific needs!
The Model C is geared towards makers and developers who enjoy soldering, circuitboards, 3D printers, and of course, exploration.
You won't need any coding skills to get your ROV up and running, but it will help if you want to upgrade your ROV with your own custom tools or instruments. To welcome budding explorers, we created a forum where all ROV builders can post their builds, inventions, and discoveries. It's also a great place to ask questions about your kit, and get help from the people who designed it!
Have a 3D Printer?
Download our 3D Printable STL Files
We've made all our hardware designs available for download from our store. And we'll refund you the price of the STL's if you post a photo of your finished build in our forums! The Model C is designed to be printed on most popular 3D printers, including the Ender 3. Of course, if your printer has a bigger build volume, that'll work just fine.
If you're ready to print now, download the plans and print each of the STL's. Use your Slicer program of choice to turn them into gcode files, and feed them to your 3D printer.
The entire project requires a total print time of around 36 hours, and you'll need a little more than one kilogram of filament. We use PLA, but you can swap that out for your favorite settings and material. Print pieces one by one and you'll render all the hardware you need in a few days!
Don't have a 3D Printer? The FULL KIT comes with pre-printed parts!
Gather your electronics
To make ocean exploration as easy and affordable as possible, we designed the
Model C entirely from off-the-shelf parts. We posted a shopping list of everything you'll need here.
If you're a maker, you probably have most of this hardware to begin with. If you're not (or just don't feel like rummagging through your garage) you can order the full electronics kit here.
Download the Free Software
Blue Dot Mobile App: Download our app on Google Play. Our app turns your phone or tablet into an easy-to-use ROV cockpit. It runs on any Android device running version 7 or higher.
Onboard Software: No programming is necessary for any of our kits; they all work out of the box as soon as they're assembled. But if you really want to get into the onboard computer and mess around, we made sure that all the ROV's onboard software is written in Python - a programming language that most nerds (like us) regard as the easiest to learn.
You can ustomize and learn more about the app's code on GitHub!
This cockpit view though our Android app reveals some spectacular underwater wildlife - Giant Kelp and Garabaldi
Once you're done building your kit, check out the user's manual to get started with controlling your ROV. You'll be a submersible pilot in no time!
If you're using your own Raspberry Pi (instead of ordering a kit), download the disk image. Flash it to your Raspberry Pi's SD card, plug it in, and your raspberry Pi is now a functioning Model C controller. If you're new to this, you can also order a pre-flashed SD card here.
Follow our online Instruction Manual
Once you've printed your ROV hardware and gathered your electronics, our straightforward instruction manual guides you through the entire build process. For a video tutorial, you can also check out our YouTube channel. You'll need a few basic tools to complete the build, and the whole process usually takes about one weekend's worth of construction.
When you're ready to take your ROV for a dive, our users' manual will walk you through setup, piloting, as well as pre and post-dive maintenance.