Shoot your own ‘Shark Week’ with this $850 underwater ‘drone’

openrov underwater drone

For us land dwellers, what happens beneath the waves is the kind of mystery only aquariums and the Discovery Channel can reveal – until now.

Meet OpenROV, a remotely-controlled mini-submarine that at $850 will cost you less that a (fully decked-out) iPad Air, and allows you to navigate the depths from the comfort of a boat. More than just a robotic submarine, OpenROV is a fully open-source “DIY” device that’s built and improved upon by a community of users. All the software, CAD files of its design, and more are posted online for users to tweak as they see fit.

OpenROV creators Eric Stackpole and David Lang, who raised money for the project through Kickstarter, say they created the gizmo as a way to allow anyone to explore the oceans in ways that usually require multi-million dollar grants (or cable TV production budgets) and teams of people.

“If you think about ocean exploration right now, it’s something that a lot of people think, ‘Oh, well, you know, what that’s something that professional scientists do, that National Geographic explorers do. That’s not something that I get to do,’ ” Lang told CNN. But Lang and Stackpole say OpenROV is their way of “trying to instill back in everyone” a sense that the oceans are theirs to explore, too.

Technically speaking, OpenROV is not really a drone because you must constantly control where it goes, making it more akin to an aquatic RC car than a unmanned areal vehicle, which flies according to pre-program coordinates. But whatever – underwater drone sound much cooler than underwater “remotely operated vehicle,” which is what the whole “ROV” in its name stands for.

The OpenROV v2.5 kit comes with everything you need to build your own ocean explorer, including an HD video camera, batteries, wire tether, and the user interface that you access via your Web browser. Buyers can also choose to purchase just the shell of the device, which can be packed with other components.

Check out a video of the OpenROV in action:

Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.

Best deals on smart locks so you’ll never have to worry about unlocked doors

Is your front door locked? We found the best deals on smart home door locks that take the worry out of wondering if your home is secure. You can lock or unlock your doors remotely and some models let you control locks with voice commands.
Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including recent controversies

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 is a far different game than its predecessors.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…