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Raspberry Pi Submarine Takes the Plunge in Maiden Voyage

Raspberry Pi powered submarine
(Image credit: Yeclek)

Sometimes it just takes one clever maker to make waves in the Raspberry Pi community and this week that maker appears to be Reddit user Yeclek. In a recent thread shared to the Raspberry Pi subreddit, they unveiled a custom Raspberry Pi-powered ROV submarine project. Using our favorite SBC, this custom submarine adds a whole new perspective to underwater exploration.

This isn’t Yeclek’s first foray into outside expedition. His YouTube channel, Enso RC, is full of videos exploring nature with a birds eye view using various FPV drones. After a few years of soaring the skies, his work has turned to lakes and seas for something more of a fish eye view.

The project is built around a Raspberry Pi 3B+ which is used to control the submarine as well as provide an interface for the camera. However, a Raspberry Pi 4 would work just as well. The rig is fully submersible and capable of remote control so users can see what’s underwater and move freely about in real-time.

According to Yeclek, the submarine is based largely on the BlueROV2, created by Blue Robotics. In addition to a few store bought components but, whenever possible, Yeclek created as many components as he can from scratch including some 3D-printed assets. While this occasionally led to a few compromises, the benefits culminated to an overall lower cost for the project. Yeclek also laser cut and CNC machined parts for the build. Adding the electronics and Raspberry Pi to the mix makes this a well rounded and highly skilled maker project.

Instead of using the default OS like many Pi projects, this Pi is running BlueOS—a custom operated system created by Blue Robotics. In this case, BlueOS helps provide a framework to build from, that’s ready to help with remote operations, thruster control and camera input. Check out the demo video to see what the final submarine looks like in action.

If you want to recreate this project yourself, you’re in luck. Yeclek has provided project details, a parts list, and more information on this project page for anyone interested in learning more about how it works.

Visit the original thread over at Reddit to get a closer look at the project and be sure to explore our list of best Raspberry Pi projects for more inspiring creations from the maker community. 

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.