June 14th, 2013

Robots: The OpenROV Project

In the episode, we speak with Eric Stackpole and David Lang from the OpenROV project about their challenge in developing Eric’s idea to find an easy way to explore a cave that was rumored to contain a sunken treasure near his home.

OpenROV (OPEN-source Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a telerobotic submarine built to make underwater exploration and education affordable. We will hear of their learning curve to turn a fun idea into a funded kick-starter project, on a shoestring budget and how they inspired the community to develop the project further. This has united the imagination of DYI beginners, amateurs, professional engineers and scientists from over 50 countries, with far more applications than were original conceded, from pollution monitoring to species identification in the Antarctica.

Eric Stackpole
Eric Stackpole is a Co-Founder of OpenROV and the original designer of the robot. He currently works part-time for NASA at the Ames Research Center and is finishing his masters thesis in mechatronics at Santa Clara University. Eric has always been an enthusiast of  exploration technology, from building a telerobot to attend classes in college to lugging ham radios up mountains during backpacking trips.

David Lang
David Lang is a Co-Founder of OpenROV. He also writes the Zero to Maker column for the MAKE blog, where he chronicles his crash-course into the maker world. Prior to underwater robots, David managed OCSC Sailing in Berkeley where he helped hundreds of students learn to sail and led sailing adventures around the world.


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  • Florence

    Has anyone checked to see if Stackpole really works “for” Ames? Same thing happened years ago where he was stating all the great work he was doing there (while promoting himself), but when they checked, they found out that he hadn’t worked there for years. Turns out, he was part-time at Santa Clara University on projects partially funded by Ames.
    I think OpenROV is a great idea and it’s awesome that these two are pushing this type of work to the community, but be honest with the readers please…

  • Yep

    Interesting… just checked on the people.nasa.gov directory site. Doesn’t show up.

  • Deb

    I hope he isn’t making false statements. Stackpole is a name long associated with NASA. Stackpole & Brother were involved in the 1874 Transit of Venus.