Underwater ROV/UAV

We have an opportunity to collaborate to create programme around a water going ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) with potential for UAV (autonomous) operation, sensors, and science!


  • VIU Deep Bay Marine Lab
  • Jim B. in Parksville


Primary Audience: 10-14 year old Camps

Build, drive, program (advanced) an ROV.

Discovery Opportunities

  • Design engineering
  • Requirements management
  • fabrication
  • electronics
  • Programming - controls, collection, and analysis…
  • Real world experiments (bath, river?, field trip?)
  • Interacting with real experts and researchers

Secondary Audience: 14+/advanced students

Longer duration; summer long?

Build, drive, program an ROV - and add UAV capabilities

Discovery Opportunities

  • as per primary audience
  • add missions: sensing, etc.

Tertiary Audience (Long term)

  • build a collaborative community of people interested in science, engineering, and the ocean
  • encourage/foster it to become self sustaining


Build Info


Challenge/Competition Programmes




  • IMU?
  • Sonar?


  • optical sensor???


  • have some sealed tmp36(?) in a box…


Prototype Build



Item Quantity Notes Availability Sub Total Cost
2-3" PVC tubing on hand $20?
Arduino Nano 1 in ROV on hand $8
Controller 1 eg repurposed PS/2/game console controller on hand $15
sealed pumps 6 left, right, up/down pairs ordered $80
electronic parts cat5 cable, mosfets, batteries, temp sensor… $40

=> ~$200

NOTE: for first attempt, decided to go with pre-sealed pumps. SeaPerch/Utah underwater robotics keep to a lower budget by using standard hobby DC motors + toilet bowl wax. Want to simplify (and reduce construction time) for first attempt!

Optional Parts

Item Quantity Notes Availability Sub Total Cost
Arduino Nano 1 for hand remote; would make cable simpler if only serial is sent and not all the wires from the game controller on hand $8
Raspberry Pi 3 1 advanced controller on Hand $40
Pi LCD Screen 1 ordered $40-80
Pressure sensor 1 $80
Webcam 1 $50

Julian…you tech guru you…
Great outline of ROV possibilities this summer…did a quick view and saw only camera spec budget item was $50…once the little unit is working on its own…perhaps “builders” of the DIY kit…could borrow an underwater camera that would cost more but be interchangeable on various ROVs??? We worry about that part later…just thinking and excited… jim.bennett@shaw.ca
Parksville/Qualicum Beach found at railyardgames@gmail.com