After four years designing and piloting underwater drones, we've taken everything we've learned and completely re-imagined what an underwater drone could be. Trident has a unique design that combines the versatility and control of an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and the efficiency of an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). It can fly in long, straight survey lines called "transects" as well as perform delicate maneuvers in tight spaces, all while maintaining a sleek and powerful form factor.

Trident is easy to use and comes ready to go. Most importantly, it is incredibly fun to fly. (Flying really is the best term, because that's exactly what it feels like when you're piloting.)

We've also assembled a small team that works from our OpenROV HQ in Berkeley, CA to manufacture, ship and support the robots. The combination of community wisdom and the commitment of our internal R&D team (many of whom were original Kickstarter backers) have been the drivers in creating Trident. 

Our Story

You may remember us. We came to Kickstarter three years ago and shared our dream of building a low-cost underwater robot that would allow anyone and everyone to explore the world below the surface. We have come a long way since that initial Kickstarter video.

We were working out of Eric's garage at the time, building the original prototype to explore a cave in Northern California with rumors of lost treasure (the full story can be heard in this TED talk). We never found the gold, but we received messages from people all over the world who wanted to help us and improve the robot. The Kickstarter project was the springboard. Since then, we've shipped thousands of OpenROV kits to people all over the world.

At OpenROV, we talk openly about our desire to maximize "Return on Adventure." We want to make sure that everyone who comes in contact with our project - community members, customers, employees, whoever - feels that their world is more interesting and more exciting because of it. We want to give people a sense of wonder about how much out there is yet to be explored and make it possible for anyone to be a part of exploring it. Trident is our best attempt yet to fulfill that promise.

Trident Performance

Every aspect of the Trident design has been painstakingly thought out in order to optimize performance and usability in any situation. One of the secrets of its versatility is the unique, hydrodynamically offset thruster design. This configuration allows you to move through the water fast and efficiently when you want to rapidly search an area or run a transect, but also allows you to maneuver very delicately when in tight quarters or while looking at a particular target.

By taking advantage of drag's exponential relationship with velocity, the off-center vertical thruster of the ROV can cause it to pitch at high speeds but also hover or change depth without pitching while operating at low speeds - similar to the way a traditional ROV works. 

About this project

  • Category:
  • Tags:Drone, Ocean, Robot, Camera
  • Location:Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, United States
  • Start Date:November 4, 2015
  • Status:Active

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