New Product! Hand Operated Vacuum Pump

Hi everyone! Today we are pumped to add a handy tool to our product line: a Hand Operated Vacuum Pump!

This hand-operated vacuum pump allows you to test the seals on a watertight enclosure without getting it wet. The pump comes with everything you need to use it, including the Vacuum Plug. The vacuum plug inserts into the vent on the enclosure and the pump allows you to pump air out of the enclosure, creating a vacuum and simulating external pressure. If there’s a leak in the enclosure seals, air will leak back into the enclosure and the vacuum pressure on the gauge will be reduced. If it’s properly sealed, the vacuum pressure will remain the same. We also do this test after changing anything on the enclosure and at the beginning of the day before any dives.

Please see the product page for complete usage instructions.

The pump is available in a kit with the Vacuum Plug and hose and it will also be included with all new BlueROV2 orders!

That’s all for today! Stay tuned for more updates before the end of the year!

New Products! Water Linked Integration Kit and Random Fathom Tether Lengths

Hey friends! Today we are excited to announce an Integration Kit for the Water Linked Underwater GPS System. We’ve also added a fun item to our Dings and Dents selection.

Water Linked Underwater GPS / BlueROV2 Integration Kit

The Water Linked Underwater GPS / BlueROV2 Integration Kit provides the components needed to seamlessly integrate Water Linked Underwater GPS system with the BlueROV2.

The integration kit basically adds a Fathom-X module inside the Water Linked system box so that only a single cable is needed to connect the Water Linked system to the rest of the ROV system. An 8 meter long cable is provided so that the box can be located away from the laptop and in an area with a good view of the sky for GPS signal. There are a few small cables included to wire up the Fathom-X inside the box and replace one of the external connectors.

The diagram below shows the connections that are made in the Water Linked box with the integration kit. All included cables are ready to use and installation is simple. There is no soldering or crimping required.

Miscellaneous Tether Lengths – Discounted

Over the past year, we’ve built lots of BlueROV2s and sent out lots of tether. As a result, we’ve got a bunch of random lengths of tether too short to sell on their own, and we are making them available to you at a super low cost! The fun part is each length will be a surprise – you won’t know how much you’re getting until you receive your order, but you’ll definitely get the minimum length of whichever option you choose. These are perfect for MATE teams, prototyping purposes, or for any reason you aren’t in need of more than 25m!

That’s all for today! Stay tuned for upcoming updates!

In the Wild: Object Recovery with BlueROV2

Many of us can relate to losing something meaningful to the forces of the ocean. I still remember the seafoam green Nike shorts I lost on a kayaking adventure back in 2013. RIP. Sometimes the losses are purely sentimental, but many times, especially in a commercial setting, the losses can be extremely costly. Regardless of whether objects are lost, or placed at the bottom of the ocean intentionally, retrieval is no simple task.

Recovering such objects has long been a job left to divers, whose services carry a hefty price tag. Not only are divers expensive, but there are undeniable safety concerns with sending humans down to depths of the ocean. Divers are also considerably limited in the amount of time they can perform tasks at depth. Many of these issues are solved with the use of an ROV, and our friends at the first offshore aquaculture facility in US federal waters, Catalina Sea Ranch (CSR) have been successfully using their BlueROV2 (equipped with custom tools) for a number of object recovery missions.

Custom recovery tool.

The first and obvious challenge of retrieving an object is finding it. Without an ROV, it could take hours, days, even months to find what’s under the surface in an area. I recently had the chance to join CSR’s crew on a rescue mission and observe first-hand how the BlueROV2 can be used as a strategic asset for object recovery. The task of the day was the retrieval of a lead weight used in the company’s anchor installation system. Capitalizing on the prior week’s success with the BlueROV2 capturing three separate pieces of scientific monitoring technologies installed on the seafloor, a second revision of the custom capture device would ferry a lifting line to the lost weight on the bottom. At 1 ton and with no convenient attachment point for the retrieval mechanism, this mission was exactly the kind of challenge the Sea Ranch crew was familiar with.

Successful retrievals.

Check out the sensor retrieval footage below!


A BlueROV2 with the new Low-Light USB Camera was fitted with a PVC tube that served as a receiver for a holder for the spring-loaded carabiner, which would attach to the target.

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New Products! Low-Light HD USB Camera and Bar100 Depth/Pressure Sensor

Hello, friends! It’s a lovely day to #godeep, and today we’re stoked to bring a couple of capable products into the picture.

Check out the New Product Video on Youtube:

Let’s bring our focus to the new Low-Light HD USB Camera. This camera is ideally suited to use underwater with excellent low-light performance, good color handling, and onboard video compression. A specially-chosen wide-angle, low distortion lens provides excellent picture quality on the ROV. With a 3D printed camera mount, it is a drop in replacement for the Raspberry Pi Camera on the BlueROV2.

Next up we have the Bar100 Depth/Pressure Sensor. It’s built around the Keller LD Series pressure/temperature sensor, which communicates via I2C communication, just like the Bar30 Pressure/Depth Sensor. It can measure up to 100 bar – that’s over 1000 meters water depth! It has a pressure resolution of 3 mbar, providing a depth measurement resolution of 3 cm in the water column.

The Bar100 is compatible with our Watertight Enclosure Series and we have new Arduino and Python libraries to interface with it. The sensor is already supported in ArduSub for use on the BlueROV2 and other ArduSub vehicles!

That’s it for today!

New Products! 6″ Series and 8″ Series Aluminum End Caps and 2″ Series Tube

Hole-y moley! We are pleased to announce the latest addition to the Watertight Enclosure Series: 6″ Series and 8″ Series Aluminum End Caps with more holes! We’re also excited to announce a new 2″ Series Aluminum Tube with the greatest depth rating we’ve ever offered on an enclosure.

The 6″ Series now has a 15-hole end cap option, and the 8″ Series now has 15-hole and 25-hole options. These are perfect for projects where you need a lot of cable connections for a lot of sensors or other equipment. If you don’t need all of the holes, you can use blank penetrators to fill them in. We think these new end cap options are pretty cap-tivating 😉

Next up is a 5.9″, 150 mm Aluminum Tube for the 2″ Enclosure Series. The tubes were successfully tested in the #Crushinator to 1000 m, which is the currently rated depth. However, they’re designed to handle quite a bit more (potentially up to 2900m depth) but we don’t have an easy way to test that. These new tubes are available as an option for the 2″ Watertight Enclosure Series now!

That’s it for today!

New Products! BlueROV2 Electronics Enclosure and Fairing

They say it’s your birthday?! Well it’s the BlueROV2’s birthday, too, yeah! Today we are celebrating the BlueROV2’s first cycle around the sun with the release of two of its components: the Electronics Enclosure and the Fairing.

The Beatles with their two favorite underwater vehicles (probably).

BlueROV2 Enclosure

Are you building an ROV with a custom frame but wish you had all the brains of the BlueROV2? That is now possible! The BlueROV2 Enclosure comes with all of the electronics included in the Advanced Electronics Kit, as well as 6 pre-wired BlueROV2 Basic 30A ESCs.

BlueROV2 Fairing

If you’re looking to protect your buoyancy foam in the same fashion as the BlueROV2, we’ve got you covered! These fairings are made of polycarbonate and come with 4 screws to attach to your vehicle.

That’s it for today everyone! Be sure to check our social media for special news! 😉

New Products: Watertight Enclosures and Basic ESC

Hello everyone! Today we’ve got enormous news for you. We are proudly introducing the 6″ Series and 8″ Series Watertight Enclosures! We’ve also got a new version of the Basic ESC.

6″ and 8″ Series Watertight Enclosures

We’re delighted to expand the line-up of watertight enclosures. These larger enclosures are perfect for those of you who need to keep a lot of stuff dry! We’re looking at you, AUVSI teams 😉 As with the rest of the enclosure series, the housings will be configurable and customizable with both aluminum and acrylic end cap options. Custom length tubes won’t be readily available, but don’t hesitate to let us know if you have a specific need. All of the components are available separately – the possibilities are nearly end(cap)less! Okay, that was a bit of a stretch…

The 6″ Series enclosures are rated to 65m and the 8″ Series enclosures are rated to 40m. We decided to measure their capacity by stuffing them with one of our favorite things: T100 Thrusters. You may also be able to spy a 3″ aluminum battery tube inside the 8″ enclosure.

6″ Enclosure (left) and 8″ Enclosure (right).

New Version of the Basic ESC

As you may have heard, the manufacturer of the Afro 30Amp ESC has ceased production of the model we currently sell, so we’ve been forced to switch to a slightly smaller version. We’ve added a heatsink to allow for the same current-handling capability. This version also have bare power leads instead of male 3.5mm bullet connectors.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading and please let us know if you have any questions or comments. There is a discussion thread available related to this post on our forums.

New Products: 3″ Series and 4″ Series Aluminum Tubes!

Hey there, friends! We are deeply excited to announce today’s new product: aluminum tubes for the 3″ Series and 4″ Series Watertight Enclosures. These aluminum tubes have significantly greater depth ratings, better heat transfer to the water, and a hard anodized black finish. Both tubes are bored out from the inside for optimal wall thickness and to reduce the enclosure weight. The 3″ Series tube is rated for 500 meters (1640 ft) and the 4″ Series is rated for 400 meters (1312 ft).

Both tubes are available now (in fairly limited quantity initially) separately and as options in the watertight enclosure configuration pages.

Please note that the 3″ Series tube is 8.75″ long, just like the battery tube on the BlueROV2. Both of these tubes are drop in replacements for the enclosure tubes on the BlueROV2. We’ll get into more details on that once we’ve done more testing at depth!

2D drawing showed the bored out inside diameter to decrease weight and optimize depth rating.

As you may have seen on our social media, we have a new pressure test chamber, the #Crushinator!! The Crushinator will be able to reach pressures equivalent to 1000 meters underwater and will take our products to a whole new level of performance, reliability, and integrity. It can fit an entire BlueROV2 inside for testing!

Last week, we took a prototype aluminum 3″ Series enclosure to about 750m before imploding. That’s nearly 5 times the depth rating of the clear acrylic enclosure! Check out The Crushinator’s first victim below. RIP.

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In the Wild: Water Quality Monitoring ASV

By: Elisa M., Blue Robotics

We often hear about the lack of clean water in third world countries, but the issue becomes much more relevant when it hits close to home. For residents of the United States, the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan has raised awareness and has influenced countless investigations of other water sources. We might assume water source monitoring is a given – especially when not done properly, the effects have potential to cause serious health issues for surrounding communities. The disaster has called attention to neglected water infrastructure nationwide, and with this new understanding comes new solutions to solving these problems.

Poor water infrastructure is not the only cause of water pollution; sometimes accidents happen. In 2015, while working on a project to treat the water of the Cement Creek in Colorado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mine waste. Fortunately, city managers were able to shunt off the reservoir in time to avoid contamination. The event motivated students at nearby Fort Lewis College to develop a robotic system capable of effective and efficient aquatic monitoring, just in case a similar accident were to happen without any obvious signs that would allow for a quick reaction.

Kayakers in the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, after the spill. Credit: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP

Kayakers in the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, after the spill. Credit: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP

Jacob Anderson and his classmates designed a network of autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) to continuously monitor the water quality and quantity in the City of Durango’s water reservoir. They created the hulls for three vehicles, Jacob explained. “The plan is to have a vehicle patrol each of the two water inlets to the reservoir and the outfall to the water treatment plant.” The vehicles were built with a number of off the shelf products, including an Arduino Mega for control, an Adafruit Breakout V3 GPS and IMU for navigation, communication through a Particle Electron board, and propulsion with Blue Robotics T200s.

The ASVs collect data regarding the physical properties, including pH levels, temperature, and salinity. The information is reported in near real time to local resource managers and is also publicly accessible. This allows for a quick response time to quality concerns, and also encourages public engagement through educational outreach and citizen scientist programs. Jacob and his team “created ASVs instead of sensor nodes so that [they] can also use them for robotics research while monitoring the reservoir. Fort Lewis College is starting a robotics and computer engineering program, so the hope is that future students will be using these vehicles as part of their college education.”

1 of 3 ASVs, equipped with T200s.

1 of 3 ASVs, equipped with T200s.

As we continue to alter our planet, water quality monitoring becomes more and more essential. With the use of marine robotic vehicles, we become better equipped to prevent such environmental disasters and clean water becomes a much more achievable goal. Clean water for everyone!

For more on Jacob’s project, check out the following link and the following paper, which goes into much more detail!

Networked Autonomous Surface Vehicles for Reservoir Monitoring

Jacob Anderson, Katherine Clark, Jake Faust, Joey Sandoval, Kenneth Tozer III, Eric Hall, Brandon Belcher, Ryan N. Smith, “Development of an Aquatic, Multi-Robot Testbed System for Algorithm Development and Validation”, MTS/IEEE Oceans, Monterey, CA. 2016

Are you doing something sweet with your Blue Robotics components? Tell us about it! We love seeing and sharing what our customers are doing with our products!

In the Wild: Glacial Lake Surveying USV

Climate change is transforming our planet faster than ever. Depending on your location on the globe, you may be experiencing extreme effects or none at all. Unfortunately, residents living near The Ngozumpa, one of Nepal’s largest and longest glaciers are experiencing the effects first hand.

At the start of the monsoon this past summer, one lake in particular is capable of losing enough water to fill 40 Olympic sized pools – in less than 48 hours. One can only imagine the disastrous effects these flash floods are having on local communities.

Ngozumpa glacier. Credit: Benjamin Pothier

Ngozumpa glacier. Credit: Benjamin Pothier

As we learn more about the changing earth, we also develop solutions to the problems climate change brings. Analyzing areas that are highly susceptible to devastating impact allows us to better predict upcoming changes, which is massively beneficial to the people living in these regions. This past summer, Patrick Rowe, along with a team of scientists from the organization Science in the Wild, traveled to the Himalayas to do just that. SITW’s founder, Dr. Ulyana N. Horodyskyj, has been studying the glacier since 2011, collecting data to investigate how the melting masses may pose a threat to local communities.

The glacial lakes are much too dangerous to put humans on which is why Patrick designed and built an unmanned surface vessel (USV). The USV’s main function was to survey the glacial lakes using a sonar – he and other researchers are trying to understand formation, growth, depth, and composition of the lakes. Using marine robotic vehicles to gather crucial information is not only much faster and more accurate than using humans, but also much safer. Patrick needed to build a USV that was small enough to carry, but rugged enough to get the job done. Check out his USV in action – powered by T200 thrusters!

Patrick and his team with his USV - powered by T200s.

Patrick and his team with his USV - powered by T200s.

Patrick and Ulyana plan to train local engineers to use robots to analyze the changing lakes and equip them with the tools needed to protect their homes. Not only will this better prepare residents for the disastrous effects caused by the floods, but it will also create a number of jobs for the villages’ inhabitants. We look forward to seeing the efforts and progress influenced by the results of these investigations!

For more information on Science in the Wild and the effects of climate change on Himalayan villages, check out the following links!

Science in the Wild

Using Swimming Robots to Warn Villages of Himalayan Tsunamis

Are you doing something sweet with your Blue Robotics components? Tell us about it! We love seeing and sharing what our customers are doing with our products!