Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Lego-Powered Submarine Makes a Splash

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Brick Experiment Channel)

We’ve seen hundreds of Raspberry Pi projects on dry land, but not too many that function underwater. Brick Experiment Channel (BEC) created this impressive Lego-powered Submarine and used a Pi to drive the operation. It doesn’t just move forward; BEC has programmed it with several features that allow it to navigate still and moving waters.

According to BEC, the submarine is radio-controlled, allowing for remote operation. Using a variety of sensors, it’s capable of maintaining its depth and can position itself in relation to the ground below. This positioning ability can be set manually and operates automatically.

If you haven’t heard of Brick Experiment Channel, you’re in for a Lego-centric treat. Most of the projects you’ll find on the blog are created using Lego integrated with microelectronics. Previous projects worth a look include these pole climbing robots and this exciting boat train made from ten separate Lego boats. If it can be made with Lego, suffice to say that BEC is more than capable of tackling the project.

BEC was kind enough to share a parts list of everything used to create this project. It’s operated primarily by a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, with most components housed neatly inside an acrylic cylinder. It’s driven by a drone propeller alongside a couple of Pololu 2130 DRV8833 Dual H-bridge motor drivers. The sensors include both a pressure sensor and a distance sensor, while a Lego Rechargeable 9V Battery Box supplies the power with the assistance of a Pololu 2123 S7V8F5 5V voltage regulator.

The Raspberry Pi runs Raspberry Pi OS, while the code used to operate the submarine functions is handled using a custom Python script. BEC explains that Thonny was used to run the Python code, which is open-source and available for anyone to explore.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project for yourself or make something similar, check out the full blog post shared on the official Brick Experiment Channel blog. We also implore you to check out the video shared on YouTube for a demo of the submarine in action.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • Error167776216
    Everytime I see an article detailing "what awesome things I can make with a pi w 2" it kind of irritates me. Where can common people find W 2s, for a reasonable price? Are they ever coming back? Maybe you should do an article on how Joe Blow can afford to get his hands on one of these boards. Us regular guys can look at all these fun projects, but good luck sourcing the required parts.