Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Submersible Robots Review - by Shalin Ghate

Submersible Robots Review by Shalin Ghate

As people become more involved with underwater photography/videography and underwater exploration, the interest has grown for personal underwater drones and remote operated vehicles (ROVs). Submersible drone prices range from anywhere between $499 and $10,000 and they possess all sorts of different features ranging from max depth, to camera quality, to weight. These are my reviews on which drones you should buy and why you should buy them.

If you're just getting into submersible drones as a novice, a popular option is the Chasing Innovation Dory. This drone is the cheapest drone on the market at $499 and it only weighs 2.5 kg. With a battery life of 1 hour and a max depth of 15m, this ROV moves at a max of 1.5 knots and has a camera that films video in 1080p.

Source: DigitalCameraWorld.com
Chasing Innovation Dory ($499 )

          The next drone on the list is the perfect drone for fishermen. The Chasing F1 Fish Finder is a 2 kg ROV that provides you with information about the surrounding underwater terrain and the location of fish in the water. With a max depth of 28 meters, this can be used in the ocean and lakes. This drone also comes with a camera that films on 1080p and livestreams at 720p.

Source: BHPhotoVideo.com

Chasing F1 Fish Finder

          The next few drones are similar in purpose and price range. They include​ the YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K, PowerVision PowerRay Explorer, PowerVision PowerRay Wizard, Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini, NAVATICS MITO, Geneinno Titan ROV, FIFISH, and the OPENROV Trident. 

The prices of these robots are from $848 - $1699 and I listed them from cheapest to most expensive. 

          The YouCan robot is a good photography robot but it doesn't have much maneuverability.  The PowerVision PowerRay Explorer and Wizard are both sleek looking, maneuverable ROVs that have   The YouCan robot is a good photography robot but it doesn't have much maneuverability.  

The PowerVision PowerRay Explorer and Wizard are both sleek looking, maneuverable ROVs that have a 4K video camera and 1080p streaming. The Wizard is more expensive because it comes with a fish finder and a VR headset. All of these ROVs have a 4K video camera and the max depth is around 100m for most of them. 

The rest of the drones listed above all function similarly to the PowerRay Explorer except they have varying weights, max depths, maneuverability features and more. For example, the Geneinno Titan ROV can go the deepest out of these robots with a max depth of 150m.

The Fifish has attachments like a grabber arm and a VR headset.

The Navatics Mito has a powerful LED attachment. 

Source: DigitalCameraWorld.com

YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K

Source: DigitalCameraWorld.com

PowerVision PowerRay Explorer

Source: Amazon.com

PowerVision PowerRay Wizard

Source: SpotmyDive.com

Navatics Mito

Source: DigitalCameraWorld.com

Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini

Source: DigitalCameraWorld.com

Geneinno Titan ROV

Source: SpotmyDive.com


Source: SpotmyDive.com

OpenROV Trident

A utility-oriented robot for consideration  is the ThorRobotics 110ROV. At $1,878, this robot has most of the common features of the ROVs listed above and it comes with a grabber arm, but it only has a max depth of 30m. 


ThorRobotics 110ROV

If you like the ROVs above and you think you’re ready to upgrade maneuverability, features and build-quality, consider the NEMO ($2639) or CCROV ($3299).The Nemo has a battery life of 3 hours. 

The CCROV only lasts one hour, but it is a photography-oriented photography drone and considered among the best. It’s very small so you can get closer to fish without alarming them and you can maneuver in tight spaces.

Source: SpotmyDive.com


Source: SpotmyDive.com


The next two robots are designed for scuba divers: the Biki and the Ibubble. The Biki is a small robot shaped like a fish,  can be controlled remotely; and it’s designed to follow people. It can follow you on your dives or monitor kids in the pool and with a max depth of 65 feet, among many other functions. This drone cost only $999. The Ibubble costs much more  ($4,334) with the main advantage of  camera quality. It can only last for an hour which is half an hour less than the Biki, and it can only dive 60m. t It is just fully autonomous, but otherwise no controller.

Source: SpotmyDive.com



Source: SpotmyDive.com


The last two drones described here are the most advanced (and most expensive). The DTG3 starter ($5,749) is a robot that weighs 8.5 kg and has a max depth of 150m. With a battery life of 8 hours, this ROV can be under for a very long time. Plus, there are attachments like a claw and an LED to improve the functionality. 

Lastly, we have the Blueye ($9,878). The main distinction is the max depth of 300 meters  (almost 2 tenths of a mile!). It films in 1080p and has a lifespan of 2 hours. This robot also has great maneuverability and can manage currents up to 2 knots. It also has an app so you can choose to control the robot from the controller or using the touchscreen on your phone while watching the feed. The interface on mobile looks like it is straight out of a videogame.

Source: SpotmyDive.com

DTG3 Starter

Source: SpotmyDive.com


This is my personal review of these drones based on the specs provided. Keep in mind, this is my ranking and other people may have other thoughts. After doing this research, I was surprised that there weren’t any other cheap ROVs. The other ones I found were all bath toys. As a growing industry, I look forward to seeing better drones released. My sources were: spotmydive.com and digitalcameraworld.com. For more information, you can visit the individual companies’ websites to find out more about a specific robot and their other products.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Summer Camps

 Registration shortcut: http://bit.ly/VT-Summer2021 

Descriptions: All camps are free and electronics equipment (and t-shirts and more) will be provided for participants to keep! Also, all camps follow the same format:
  • 9am to noon online learning and discussion (lots of breaks), 
  • noon to 1pm online presentations and discussions, and
  • Currently, all are planned as virtual camps.
1. AAUW Tech Trek Wearable Tech (July 12-16) - suggested ages 12-18
Co-sponsored by the Arlington Chapter of the AAUW, this camp is designed for only girls and non-binary participants.  Participants will build simple LED and servo motor circuits that are controlled by programming an Arduino microcontroller.  These skills will be applied to a creative wearable device that uses the same Arduino microcontroller and allows you to program and operate the device. 
2. Tech for Good with IoT / Smart Cities Technology (July 26-30)  - suggested ages 12-18
Participants will explore the foundations of Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Cities initiatives, with an emphasis on future possibilities.  Hands-on topics are largely focused on electronic microcontrollers and microprocessors, sensors, actuators, and also Bluetooth, 5G, 4G LTE, wifi and other wireless communication hardware and software components.
3. Urban Agricultural and Environmental Technologies with IoT (August 16-20)  - suggested ages - 14-18
Participants will identify real-world, urban agriculture and environmental challenges or problems, research and model potential solutions, and then test and redesign prototypes.  A variety of materials will be complemented with electronics monitoring, sensors and actuators addressing agricultural and environmental needs. 


Registration shortcut: http://bit.ly/VT-Summer2021

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Recognition for our Interns - Khulan Erdenedalai

Khulan Erdenedalai was our 2019 environmental engineering intern / research assistant through Arlington Public Schools' PRIME Internship program. Nothing about this honor from Arlington Magazine (or Arlington Public Schools, Yale University or the Gates Foundation before it) surprises us. Creative in multiple dimensions, modest, engaged and engaging, and she never casts a shadow.

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Wise words for the curious...


By Kurt Vonnegut:

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject?

And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.”

And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”

And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”

- Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, May 22, 2021

We’re hosting our Urban Ag and Environmental Technology Camp from August 16-20 (among others!).

Registration shortcut: http://bit.ly/VT-Summer2021 

Until then:

Food and Agriculture is STEM

With a global food shortage expecting to double in demand over the next few years, the food and agriculture industry faces some significant challenges. Possibly an even greater challenge is having a robust and diverse STEM talent pool to address the global issues of food production and sustainability. 

An education in STEM opens a world of opportunities in the food and agriculture industry, and yet too few STEM students consider agricultural pathways.

When you explore what it takes to feed the world, you might be surprised at the numerous and diverse skill sets involved, the exciting, and sometimes surprising, roles that play a part in getting food from field to table. From digital agriculture to drones, the food and agriculture industry is more than farming and increasingly fueled by STEM.

In our ebook we explore the crossroads of STEM in food and agriculture, shining a light on careers and pathways to engage and inspire the next generation to consider opportunities in the food and agriculture industry. We’re talking drone bees, autonomous tractors and robots. Although it sounds like sci-fi, these are real technologies helping farmers improve production and solve the global food shortage.

The first in an ongoing series, join us on this ebook journey to explore the high-tech, rapidly changing industry of food and agriculture, where opportunities abound for future STEM generations to make a profound difference in the world.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

You've got options in STEM.

Most everyone benefits from post-secondary technical training or college coursework, but there's no one path perfect for every person or career.  Register now at STEMconnector.us.