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How to build an eduROV

Tools needed
Mechanical construction
CAD files - 3D models

In order to be fully transparent and open, we have used Onshape* to design the mechanical structures making up the ROV. Find the project files by clicking the link below, or searching for "eduROV_development_version" in Onshape. Updates may take place at some point, in that case the links here will be updated as well.

*Onshape is a free-access browser based CAD system. It's free to make a user, although you will have to pay them to keep your project files hidden. (no issue for us)

Designing and building a vehicle like this can be a lot of fun! It can be a cool learning experience, or even a productive hobby. This website is all about sharing an open-source project which encompasses all elements of making on an enthusiast level. It is however also easy to see applications of this project in for example schools projects etc as the price tag and tools required is at an affordable level. 

Tools list:

Hand drill


Hot-glue gun

Soldering iron


Model-saw or similar

Access to a 3D-printer

Software and code

All the code that is used to run the eduROV is of course also available open-source. We have a github repository which contains the Arduino code and the Python-script that is used. In order to see the camera feed from the ROV, we currently use screen-mirroring to view the desktop of the Raspberry Pi that is the brains of the ROV. Raspbian has VNC Server included, and all you need to do in order to view this from any computer, is to download the free VNC-Viewer. 

You also need to install PyGame (a Python package) in order to make the script work.

VNC and ssh also needs to be activated on the Raspberry Pi.

Software setup Arduino

The ROV circuitry features a custom motor-controller setup, which is currently undergoing some serious rework. You can find the currently used schematic and PCB-layout here.


The motor controller is based on relays, in order to keep the electrical system as easy to understand as possible. The major disadvantage with this choice is that we only have ON/OFF control of the DC motors. Which makes the control less smooth. This is however a feature which is perfect as a DIY modification to the ROV.

The circuitry design is done using KiCAD - a free design tool for the job.

Software setup Raspberry Pi
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