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September 18 2014
Survey natural resources around Annette Island, Alaska.

September 18 2014


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Name: Jason Pipkin
Account ID: 731118853

Mission Underway

To get video footage, we have mounted a GoPro camera on the top of the ROV. This has caused some buoyancy issues. we are planning to attach a piece of foam on the GoPro to make it neutrally buoyant in water. That way, When we use the GoPro, it won't effect the buoyancy of the ROV.

The ROV was almost assembled and we ran into a malfunctioning ESC. The starboard motor would only run one way. If we tried to make it run the other way, it wouldn't respond. It took us several weeks to isolate the problem. When we did, we replaced the ESC with one from the mark 1 ROV and the motor worked fine.

Work on the ROV mark 2 has gone well. We had gained a little experience from the work we did on the mark 1 so we knew how to avoid the mistakes that had been made there.
Because of the rust on the motors on the mark 1, we investigated how to fix that. We found a link in the instructions that showed how to epoxy the motors. We epoxied the motors (it wasn't the neatest job, but was effective).


By the end of the first semester, the ROV was assembled, but still had major leaks and engine trouble. After much thought, we decided to retire the Mark 1 and began on a second kit that had been donated to our school and multiple others by the Phil Knight Foundation and other anonymous donors.


We used a medium pelican case with Pick N Pluck foam for a waterproof travel case. We also used a large orange spool to control the tether.


At the start of this School year, most of the team was unable to continue work on the ROV. Only Teacher Jason Pipkin and one other student were able to pick up project. As with last year, we had to work through all of the problems that that the team had run into or created. Most of our work was troubleshooting.

Preparation Stage

As the students worked on it, They ran into many problems, including leaks, soldering mistakes, firmware problems, and many other things. Because of all of these setbacks, They weren't able to finish the ROV by the end of the year.


Great to have you back! Looking forward to seeing the goPro footage!

Sorry we haven't been updating this, We've been busy and overlooked it. I'm working on redoing this entire page in a sort of timeline showing more history and what we've done

The Metlakatla students began the project with vigor. During a STEM trip to California, they were even able to visit the OpenROV headquarters in Berkley.


Fantastic! You're about ready to calibrate the ESCs? Can't wait to see! Do you have any photos of your build process?

Nice! I would love to see what you have in mind regarding the GoPro mount.

Sorry we haven't gotten back to you this past week, its been pretty busy and we didn't expect a response so soon. we have the system powered on and are adjusting the lasers currently. I took a few pictures and will post them as soon as I can. A little history on the project, it was started a few years ago by another student, he ran out of time in the school year and lost interest, even though it was almost ready. I (Barak Wahl) just moved here this year and decided to take up the task. I hope to have it ready for operation within the week. we haven't yet experimented with the GoPro idea yet but it is definitely a possibility. between our STEM class and SCUBA class we have several. We are open to other suggestions about what to add, I was thinking about a clamp run by an electro magnet. We have a 3D printer so we can probably come up with any upgrade parts we need.

Jason, was just thinking about you guys. How's everything coming??

there's been lot of troubleshooting, but its almost ready.

Expedition Background

The OpenROV project started at Metlakatla High School during the 2013-14 School year. At the start of the year, the STEM students were deciding on a project to work on. They had seen the OpenROV on TED Talks and were interested in it so they contacted David Lang, who generously donated an ROV kit for the students to work on.