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Oct 26, 2010, 08:01 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
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What is an "ROV"?

A few friends have asked me "What is an ROV?" ... so I thought I'd share this information here...

What is an ROV?
An ROV is an underwater, or water surface, "Remotely Operated Vehicle"... it's a tele-presence, subsurface or surface, possibly tethered, robotic vehicle...

Piloting an ROV is FPV (First Person View) pilotage underwater or on the water's surface ... one sees what the vehicle sees via it's onboard video camera(s)... i.e., an ROV pilot is not typically looking at the vehicle while piloting ... instead the ROV pilot is looking at the view from the underwater or water surface vehicle...

The ROV pilot attains the tele-presence experience of piloting the ROV, as if the pilot is looking outward from inside the ROV ...

The video technology for FPV (i.e., video cameras, displays, goggles, etc.) has progressed in the past few years, such that FPV pilotage of RC aircraft has become a reality for many hobbyists around the world... indeed, much of my background is FPV with RC aircraft ... and the same video technology is migrating into underwater & surface vehicles... hence the need for the ROV forum

Why isn't an ROV called an UNDERWATER or SURFACE Remotely Operated Vehicle (UROV)?
Please feel free to call it that if you like... some folks do...

Industry terminology often evolves in unexpected ways... in this case, the full-scale industry which designs and manufactures underwater, remotely operated vehicles, most often calls one of these an "ROV".

What is the Scope of the ROV Forum?
My opinion is that anything related to underwater & water surface vehicles; full-scale or miniature; built by hobbyists, scientists, or engineers; remote video cameras; underwater lighting for video cameras; underwater & water surface FPV; autonomous water craft; ROV "missions" (for example, inspecting ship hulls, investigating underground water storage tanks, ROV contests, etc.); underwater electrical power, connectors & tethers; seawater and freshwater build tips; etc... these are all great topics for the ROV forum.

Are Autonomous Underwater Vehicles ROVs?
Yes. "AUVs" (i.e., Autonomous Underwater Vehicles), can be considered a type of ROV ... Please note that the industry-standard term of "AUV" looks confusingly similar to "UAV" ...

Are Unmanned Surface Vehicles ROVs?
Yes. USVs (Unmanned Surface Vehicles) are a 2-D (surface) type of ROV, whether they are tele-operated or autonomous...

Are all RC boats ROVs?
No. A full-scale ROV is always an unmanned, subsurface, telepresence or autonomous craft, and typical RC boats are piloted by looking at the boat, and not by looking from the boat. Also, an ROV is designed and intended to be operated beyond the pilot's line of sight.

However, if the RC boat is piloted via FPV or via autonomous control, then it is an ROV.

Are all RC submarines ROVs?
No. A full-scale submarine, or "submersible ship", is always manned, and a model sub is a model of a manned craft ... On the other hand, a full scale ROV is always unmanned, and is typically operated beyond the sight of the person piloting the ROV.

However, if the RC submarine is piloted via FPV control, then it is an ROV.

An ROV model may either be a model of a full-scale ROV, or it can be a full-scale ROV in its own right.

Are RC airplanes or RC cars ROVs?
No. Although in a general sense of an ROV as a "remotely operated vehicle" one might say yes, but in the stricter sense of an ROV as an underwater, or water surface, unmanned vehicle, then no, RC airplanes and RC cars are not ROVs.

Please post your constructive advice and pointers, as to how to help folks know the difference between ROVs and other water craft.

This is a work in progress, and I will add more details as time goes on.

I hope this is helpful...

Stay Well,

PS - Some References:

MATE international student ROV competition (5 min 30 sec)
Last edited by kevinhines; Aug 10, 2012 at 10:30 PM.
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Oct 26, 2010, 08:02 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar

Links - TBD

This is a work in progress...please post or PM your favorite links, so that I can add them here.

These links were contributed by Robe_UK:
"This one might be cheating as its a link to links"
Last edited by kevinhines; Nov 01, 2010 at 11:56 PM.
Oct 26, 2010, 08:02 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar

Photos - TBD

I will post some representative ROV photos here.

The Argo ROV:

Last edited by kevinhines; Oct 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM.
Oct 26, 2010, 08:03 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar

Video - TBD

Last edited by kevinhines; Oct 26, 2010 at 10:54 PM.
Oct 27, 2010, 02:55 AM
robe_uk's Avatar
Hi Kevin
Great topic and great information looking forward to seeing it grow.

Cheers Rob
Nov 01, 2010, 08:13 PM
robe_uk's Avatar

Some links

Thought I'd add some links to this thread, I'll edit and add more as I find them.

This one might be cheating as its a link to links

Nov 01, 2010, 11:58 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Originally Posted by robe_uk View Post
Rob, Thanks!

I added the links you posted to post # 2 of this thread.

If other folks have links you'd like to share, please do so...



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