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Open source mini sub appeals to our inner Steve Zissou

Alexis Santos

Quadrocopters haven't exactly opened the skies for DIY exploration so much as they have for acrobatic feats, but the OpenROV project is hoping to make the briny depths friendlier for aspiring explorers and educators alike. The open source rover, spearheaded by NASA engineer and researcher Eric Stackpole, sinks to depths of up to 300 feet (100 meters), runs on eight C-cell batteries for approximately 1.5 hours and can clip by at three feet (one meter) per second. Within the laser-cut acrylic frame, a sealed cylinder houses a BeagleBone, HD webcam and LED lights. This all weighs in at 5.5 pounds and is piloted using a web browser and video feed. The footage is then piped up to a laptop that tethers the vehicle to the shore. Pre-orders for OpenROV 2.3 kits will be taken through Kickstarter later this summer at $750 apiece, though there are plans to sell fully assembled units. For now, explorers can register their interest at the link below and impatient Jacques Cousteaus will be pleased to know that all files necessary to build version 2.2 are available to download now.

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