Build your own OpenROV!

OpenROV is a community of people working together to create a more accessible, affordable, and awesome platform for underwater exploration.  By working together, we've created the OpenROV submarine - an open-source underwater robot that sends live video up to a computer on the surface and allows the user to control where it goes.

If you want to start building an OpenROV, you can:

  1. Buy an OpenROV Kit
  2. Build an OpenROV from scratch

OpenROV is open source (code and design files), so we provide all the files, build notes, and bill of materials you'll need to build one yourself.  If you want to go this route, you'll need to source your own parts.  You can find links to our design files, and Bill of Materials (parts list) below:

OpenROV is not only open source, we're also crowdsourced, which means we rely on feedback from our community to help us grow.  If you have ideas for how we can make the design better, places we should go with the ROV, or really anything that you think would benefit people interested in underwater exploration, please post on our forums page!  Also, if you have any questions, the forums are a great place to get answers.

OpenROV v2.6

Assembly of OpenROV v2.6 can be done over a weekend, and most sections take less then an hour.  Instructions for each part of building process can be found in the OpenROV Instruction Set.

Improvements and features are continually added by builders who have found better solutions. So check back often for the latest design updates. Remember, if you have questions, you can always visit the OpenROV builder's forum.

Building the OpenROV doesn't require being a robotics expert or having a degree in engineering, but it helps to have a little bit of experience with soldering, cutting, gluing, etc.  Generally, we'd describe the kit as being a high school-level building experience (but we're always amazed at how capable very young people are at figuring this kind of stuff out). Before committing to putting an OpenROV together, we recommend you look through the instruction set to get a feel for what building an OpenROV will be like.

Once you've built an OpenROV, there are a ton of places out there to explore and we LOVE hearing stories of underwater adventures done with technology developed here.  If you have a good idea for a place to explore, want to hear some suggestions for expeditions, or want to talk about an adventure you've already had, we'd recommend looking at the Adventures section of the forums.  If you still have the building bug after your ROV is ready to go, check out the Payloads section on the forums and see if you get any ideas for cool things to add to the ROV (suggestions also welcome!)

Our dream with OpenROV is to make it so that anyone can be an explorer.   There are endless adventures to be had and discoveries to be made beneath the waves, and we hope that by making technology to explore the deep available to everybody we can learn a little more about our incredible planet.

Have fun, learn a lot, and explore the unknown!


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Comment by Scott Whalen on September 15, 2014 at 2:47am

I need a replacement set of caps for each end of both battery tubes. How can I purchase replacements? There is not an option in the store for individual parts. Can someone from OpenROV sell me a new complete set of acrylic battery caps?

Comment by Andrew Parrella on July 7, 2014 at 8:04am

I am eagerly waiting for my new kit to arrive - order #1924. Will that one have the adapter for the new batteries, I ordered it right on the day you posted about the change. I just want to know if I should order the adapters. Thanks! 


Comment by Jack Ohme on April 19, 2014 at 11:00am

Is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) a good ROV material?

Comment by Bob JB Li on February 26, 2014 at 9:24pm

I will place an order to buy a Kit to assembly a Robot,I want to confirm if you can directly send the Kit to me by DHL without tariff?

In addition,I tried to download the design files and failed.It seems I need new registration on Github website?

Comment by Brian Mclellan on January 20, 2014 at 7:10pm

Looking forward to building and testing this OpenROV Rig, Our Resort put order in the other day and we can hardly wait to share our build progress and adventures with designers and all you test pilots working on this cool project.


Brian Mclellan Mayne Island Resort / Gulf Islands

Comment by Venkata Ramana C on January 16, 2014 at 11:02pm

It would be great if some one forms a group or association that offers services for assembling the ROV, test and ship to anywhere in the world. This helps a great deal for some one without the resources or capabilities but interest in ROVs. 

Comment by Brian Rodgers on November 6, 2013 at 3:04pm

Woe!  Cool!  Very cool!

Comment by David Lang on November 6, 2013 at 2:45pm


100m is the depth limit for v2.5

Comment by Brian Rodgers on November 6, 2013 at 1:45pm

To what depth is this "approved?"

Comment by Eric on November 4, 2013 at 9:39am
I finally finished building my OpenROV 2.4 with my teenage son and a couple of friends. It took us on and off through a good part of summer till now. It now seems to test fine with all functions during dry run ( plan to do real test over this weekend.)except the cockpit screen will freeze constantly when activating the motors using the arrow keys. Can someone help us?
Comment by Eric Stackpole on October 28, 2013 at 2:24pm


We've been working on a BOM for 2.5 that has links to the parts needed from sources that will sell single quantities.  It's still not done (I'm hoping to finish it in the next few days) but here's a link to the Google Docs Spreadsheet I've been working on.

Hopefully that will be of some help right away.


Comment by David Lang on October 28, 2013 at 12:29pm

Hi Chris,
Send an email to

Comment by Chris on October 28, 2013 at 11:53am

Whom do I contact for customer support re missing items in a kit?   I couldn't  find a link for this in the store.


Comment by Chris on October 28, 2013 at 11:50am

Can you get us a link for 2.5 BOM?  

Comment by David on October 18, 2013 at 4:19pm

Just for notifying: The link to the EU bill of materials is pointing to "nirvana". Could that be corrected?

Thanks in advance - David

Comment by Joe Berta on August 17, 2013 at 6:47am

I see the clever way of retrofitting a bilgepump. I wonder, does anyone know what depths bilgepumps can handle? (I live on a boat, so I know bilgepumps very well but there is no manufacturer's number regarding pressure depths, for obvious reasons...)

Comment by Pierros Papadeas on May 19, 2013 at 8:07am

Hey Alexandros!

You can find a local team of OpenROVers in Athens based in Drop by to say hi!

Comment by Alexandros Tanzanakis on April 6, 2013 at 10:01pm

i will probably use the openROV as a research platform for my doploma thesis in the near future. My thesis will be about autonomous navigation and control of a mini underwater vessel without any human interaction. Is there anything discussed about that from other openROV-ers? It will be definitely nice to see the ROV behave like a trully unmanned sea vehicle.

Comment by SCUBAMEN on February 28, 2013 at 3:13am

can I control this rov with a simple rc control unit?

greetins from holland

Comment by Eric Hahn on February 16, 2013 at 8:59am

Thx Dave!  Do you know of any OpenROV-ers in the San Diego area?

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