ArduSub, the underwater version of ArduPilot, now live

Good news from Blue Robotics: they've crossed the final(?) frontier and ArduPilot is now underwater. Welcome ArduSub! (In historic progression since the founding of the project it was Plane, Copter, Rover, Boat and now Sub) 

All details are here, but this is the summary:

Firmware for Remote-Operated and Autonomous Capabilities in Underwater Vehicles

The ArduSub project is a fully-featured, open-source controller for remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Based on the popular ArduCopter code, the ArduSub code has extensive capabilities out of the box including feedback stability control, depth and heading hold, and autonomous position control if provided with position feedback.

ArduSub is designed to be safe, feature-rich, open-ended, and easy to use even for novice users.

System Components

  • A PixHawk or other DroneCode-compatible autopilot loaded with the latest version of the ArduSub firmware.
  • QGroundControl software for setup, configuration, and operation of the vehicle.
  • suitable ROV or AUV for use with the software
  • Many other useful additions: depth sensors, tether communications, cameras, and other sensors and actuators



  • ArduSub currently supports two frame configurations:
    • BlueROV 6DOF Frame: Maneuvers with unique 6 degree-of-freedom control
    • Vectored w/ Side-by-Side Vertical Thrusters: Provides excellent smooth control and stability
    • Vectored w/ Corner Vertical Thrusters: Provides excellent smooth control, stability, and 6-DOF control
  • In the future, other frame types will be supported, such as:
    • 3 and 4 thrusters arranged with two thrusters for forward/turn and one or two for vertical

Views: 13208

Comment by Paul Meier on February 28, 2016 at 12:03pm

Amazing, what a career for the ardu, next one:  arduspace ?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 28, 2016 at 12:05pm

I'll give the and/or domain to anybody who can lead that project!

(I'm giving the to the Blue Robotics guys, too)

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on February 28, 2016 at 12:49pm

Hi Chris,

Nice moves, really appreciated.

Linus Penzlien and I are presently setting up Blue Robotics' version of ArduSub on a BBBMINI and will use QGC as the Topside GCS.

Our ROV Project, using Blue Robotic Thrusters and WTCs, and the BBBMINI, can be seen here



Comment by Linus on February 28, 2016 at 12:50pm

Smell's like real DIY spirit :)

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 28, 2016 at 1:35pm

great! I'm delighted to see this making such great progress.

Comment by Víctor Mayoral on February 28, 2016 at 3:26pm

Well done Rustom and the rest of the team!.
Been fascinated by the idea of having an ArduSub for a while.

Looking forward to reproduce it as well.

Comment by bigkahuna on February 28, 2016 at 4:36pm

Another great development, very excited to see this!

Comment by Rustom Jehangir on February 28, 2016 at 5:26pm

Thanks for the post, Chris! Glad to see there's interest from more folks! The documentation page that was linked to ( was just launched yesterday so there's a lot of work to still be done on that.

Here are a few videos of ArduSub code in action:

Shipwreck dive:

Stability demo:


Comment by bigkahuna on February 28, 2016 at 7:05pm

I had to watch the second video before I realized what was going on.  The position control is really impressive.  In spite of pushing the ROV, it maintains depth almost perfectly.  Most commercial ROV's I've flown are barely able to maintain a depth of +/- one meter.  The BlueROV with ArduSub appears to be maintaining a depth of +/- one or two centimeters!

Comment by David Conger on February 28, 2016 at 8:25pm

That's really neat. I really could have used this on my sailboat last year in the Caribbean. Reminds me of a simpler, easier to build OpenROV. 


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