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The future of ocean exploration is here.
The future of ocean exploration is here.
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1,324 backers pledged $815,601 to help bring this project to life.

Moving right along!

Posted by OpenROV (Creator)
Hello Kickstarter backers, 

This will be a relatively short update, but we think you’ll enjoy it!

Update summary:

  • We're still on track to begin shipping in April. 
  •  All the parts for our first prototype “EVT” units have arrived and we plan to build them up this week 
  • We have some new footage captured with a Trident prototype in Hawaii 

First and foremost, we’ve received the Engineering Validation Test (“EVT”) prototypes that we will use in the coming month to validate our final hardware and production design. The EVT models are pretty much the final design we’re committing to for production, and they will be the best-performing vehicles we’ve flown yet. Having nine of these vehicles in flying condition will allow us to do much more in-depth field testing and should also give us more opportunities to capture photos and video to share with the world. This was an exciting image for us to see, and we hope you’ll like it too!

Nine "EVT" Tridents awaiting assembly
Nine "EVT" Tridents awaiting assembly

Having new prototype units around the lab has given us more opportunities to take vehicles to different places and put the design through rigorous tests in varying environments. Given all of that, we're even more excited by the potential for the Trident - it really is fun to fly! Here's a video from tests we did in Hawaii last weekend:

As mentioned above, we are still on track to begin shipping the first Tridents in April, and we hope to ramp up production fast enough to have all of the Kickstarter-backed Tridents out by the middle of summer. Our plan will be to ship units out in the order they were backed, and we will send out notifications to each backer with specific shipping information for their order once production starts.

As always, please feel free to let us know if you have any questions about the project. We look forward to keeping you posted as we move into production!


Kristian GS, Rayan M Alhussamy, and 25 more people like this update.


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    1. Karyn Murphy on

      Any more updates on the timeline? Are we still on track? Just wondering as I make Spring/Summer field plans for using Trident! Thanks so much.

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      Gerrit Band on

      Good news. Wuestion: I ordered with 25 mtrs cird but I would like ti have the 100 mtrs. Or do you send a survey? Regards, Gerrit

    3. Jim Neilan on

      Can't wait to start diving them in the Chesapeake!

    4. OpenROV 2-time creator on

      Rob - Great questions! I'm looking forward to showing new videos from Trident as we film them. Another anomaly you may notice about this video is that there are dark areas in several of the corners- an effect known as "vignetting". I forgot to mention that this is the result of a mis-sized camera bracket we used that held the camera lens a bit too far back behind the window. You won't see this effect in the production units.

      I'm not sure of which other video you're describing but we certainly plan for Trident to support external payloads. We wanted external payloads to use their own battery supply in order to isolate accessories from the critical power bus used to keep Trident running and to keep the design mechanically simple. We've already published some details of how this interface will work in order to support external development of accessories for Trident, but we also plan to develop some of our own. In the future, it may be possible to create an external battery pack that could be used to extend Trident's operating time, but we'll probably come out with more basic accessories first.

      Emily - Thank you!

      Nuno - Thanks for the very kind invite! Trident has fairly bright headlights built in, but I suspect one of the first accessories we'll design will be an external lighting system. Infrared tends not to travel very well through water, but I understand that that very property can make it useful for some types of scientific observations (like looking at various fauna). Our depth rating for Trident will be 100m


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      Nuno Simoes on

      It would be great to do some testing in the Yucatan innundated caves "cenotes", where the Trident R.O.V. may get where the divers can't... great adventure, useful data and what a better real-world scenario to test the prototypes? If you cover the air-fares, we will take care of the rest :-)
      Having the above in mind, does the Trident come with a light to illuminate the way on darker environments? If we would be using it to search for, count and identify cave fauna, would it be possible to instal an infrared light and substitute the onboard-camera for a IR sensible camera?
      Does the max-depth range changed? How deep can we dive a Trident?
      All the best

    6. Emily McBryan on

      I am so excited!!!


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      Rob on

      Great update and thanks for the clarification about the camera settings. I was watching this on a 4k 40 pc monitor so it stood out clearly and I wondered if it was a focus setting....glad to hear it was intended and that further tuning will occur. Thanks for providing the diver version and sound it was great to give a better sense of agility and the sound those little motors put out. I was surprised the fish were not more disturbed by the sounds....which means some great discoveries are ahead. In an unrelated "unboxing video - not sure of the date" there was mention of some additional payload modules, including battery modules and presumably these are to power the payloads, but can they also be used to recharge or drive the vehicle once onboard batteries drop below required power levels?

      Once you have this on the general market are you planning on having third parties providing parts/modules for resale in other countries....selfishly, can we set one up in Canada? April can't come fast enough...happy testing!!!

    8. Andrew Thaler on

      This is awesome! Love seeing all the nascent bots being prepared to dive.

    9. OpenROV 2-time creator on

      Hey Karyn,

      We'll send a survey out just before shipping that has a place for updated addresses, other things you'd like to add to your order, etc. You should also be able to change your shipping address at any time through your Kickstarter profile page.

      As for batteries, the vehicle has just under 100Wh of battery capacity and the batteries are built in to the vehicle so it should be fully compliant with air traffic safety guidelines for carry-on items.

      Hope that helps!


    10. Karyn Murphy on

      Always love seeing the updates. Two quick questions:
      Will we have a chance to tell you where to ship our Tridents after we know the shipping schedule? I anticipate being in the first wave, but that timing corresponds with my departure for Alaska. I need to decide where to send the Trident based on when I will be leaving.
      Also, what batteries do I need to worry about. Alaska has really finicky requirements about what batteries I can take in the air. Some batteries can't be shipped even. I want to know what batteries I might want to acquire ahead of time. Thanks!

    11. OpenROV 2-time creator on

      Thanks, Rayan! I have to say, flying Trident in Hawaii was one of the best ROV experiences I've had in my life. Since we were still adjusting some of the camera settings, we had the video bandwidth cranked down (if you look closely you can see some compression artifacts in the footage) but even still, it was like participating live in a NatGeo film! I really can't wait to get more footage once the camera is tuned. I think people are going to love this!