Naval Academy "Sea Perch" Underwater ROV kit $143

WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,705
Was watching an episode of "SciGirls" on PBS with my wife and daughter today and it was rather amazing. A group of four young girls got to work with a couple women at the US Naval Academy and experience underwater ROVs in the form of a small kit called the Sea Perch. I had assumed that the kit was part of the Naval Academy science programs, but then when they showed the kit in a box and explained it came with everything necessary for the program, I had to google it of course.

I was actually impressed with what I found. A full Sea Perch kit is $143 and comes with everything needed to make an underwater ROV. Of course, it is just screaming out for a Basic Stamp or a Propeller to add some additional features (data logging, orientation data, etc). Some of the build techniques in the 33 page PDF are new to me and seem to be rather clever. Sealing the motors in a film canister with toilet ring wax was one item that I was surprised to see, but it appears to work rather well. Really wish I had a pool.........


Here are some links to more details:

Sea Perch website:

SciGirls PBS Show Website for Episode Videos
(Site is heavy on flash, so a little slow in my opinon, but look for the episode titles "Aquabots" that is 27 minutes long. They start working with the ROVs at 6 minutes in, but I recommend watching the whole episode)
250 x 260 - 25K


  • 3 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited October 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Very, very interesting.
    All my ROV projects have died on the vine due to the problem of submerisible DC motors.

    These guyss merely wrap the motor in electrical tape, cover it in bees wax and house it in a 35mm film cannister. This is worth a try.

    Propeller are another big issue, but they seem to have found some. And they provide a kit for the inept scrounge. All good stuff as ROVs don't have to be big to work well --- everything has gotten smaller.

    Yes, toilet ring seals are one of the cheapest sources of bees wax that one can find. Every hardware and plumbing supply has them.
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    All things considered, I can live and thrive without Microsoft products. LINUX is just fine.
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,489
    edited October 2012 Vote Up0Vote Down
    What a great price point for an ROV kit! They have some very innovative build ideas. I like the film canister and also using the swimming noodle for buoyancy control.

    I've been looking at OpenROV but this one has it beat on price and kid friendliness. This could be the latest "bright shiny thing" to distract me from my last "bright shiny thing"!!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
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